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Shelter and Settlements


In the early stages of an emergency, shelter, is a critical determinant of survival, along with water supply, sanitation, food and healthcare. Shelter plays an essential role in reducing vulnerability and building communities’ resilience.

We consider that shelter is not just a matter of building a ‘product’ – but rather a ‘process’ whereby people can improve their own homes, and engage to create a safe and secure environment. The ‘sheltering process’ is a continuum between humanitarian action and long term development, and must include other essential facilities such as social & education services, access to market and responsible use of natural resources. The B.R.A.C.E Team will be working to improve housing structure for a safer environment for all.


Examples of typical collective housing  clusters where  several family units share a common area within a defined perimeter often enclosed by improvised various fences with retrieved building materials.   An example of one  of the housing structures supported by  Habitat for  Humanity to improve the conditions of  targeted  vulnerable family units(Bottom Left Corner).


A common characteristic of the  informal clusters that  the families construct the living units with whatever available material they have access to and in the absence of wellplanned housing units  as well as the planned  use of the space  around it taking into  account the needs of  proper access,  water and sanitation services, as well as  ongoing transport  communication requirements.   In the case of  Portmore, it is clear that the informal settlements are often  back-to-back to the  more developed residential areas.