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Affordable Housing, Fighting Cholera, and Reuniting Families

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Desperate Haitian earthquake victims now have permanent hurricane and seismic resistant housing within reach just as the anniversary date of the disaster is at hand. United Aid Foundation Board member Michael Wnek  announced today that all 6 foundations for the construction of housing for Haiti earthquake victims were completed in Simonette, Haiti just before Christmas. The only thing standing in the way of moving families in, is raising the last $40,000 necessary to finish them. Details on our efforts can be viewed at www.hopeforhaitihealing.org 

The foundations will be followed by the erection of structural insulated wall and ceiling panels called SIPs provided by Gramatica SIPs International. All homes meet both seismic and hurricane resistant codes and are the ultimate in affordable "Green" construction. Gramatica SIPs is owned by Martin, Bill and Santiago Gramatica of National Football league fame who are supplying their panel products on a not for profit basis. All structural design and and engineering was provided by Palm Harbor Homes, known as a leader in storm resistant housing construction methods. Palm Harbor Homes is one of the largest builders of modular housing in the world.

The first family receiving a home to replace their's destroyed in the earthquake are the Raymond family, a grandmother raising her 5 grandchildren, and several extended family members. The parents of her grandchildren were all killed in the disaster.

These homes are being built on slightly elevated foundations to keep residents dry under storm conditions, and are built to very stringent energy codes. All of this is occurring while keeping a diligent focus on affordability and sustainability. All homes will be geared to harvest rainwater and wherever clusters of homes are built, wastewater will be managed for maximum sanitation. This is especially important in light of the emerging cholera epidemic.

John Alex, president of United Aid Foundation, points out that "this is a pilot project designed to show the world how to break the paralysis of non-response to earthquake victims needs, and start mass production of much needed housing". Each house will be built for $9-15,000 depending on size ranging from 300 to 500 square feet and will feature a septic system and solar lighting in addition to traditional electrical supply. With adequate funding this process can be ramped up to a production level of several hundred homes per month. We desperately need your help to move on with this project. You can make a difference in the lives of a Haitian family.

Mr. Wnek also stated that a very important part of the process is the involvement of the Haitian labor force who will build the foundations and assemble the SIPs panels on site. They will also supply electrical and plumbing services and be an integral part of the process. When funding is expanded the team expects to build a SIPs manufacturing facility in Haiti and will be available to service other not for profits and NGO projects. The United Aid Foundation has been relieving hunger, pain and thirst as well as being a major supplier of medical supplies since the earthquake, and now is focused on housing. In this manner we can start reuniting families, provide secure, comfortable housing and set the stage to combat cholera and other sanitation related diseases. UAF has a history of delivering 97 cents of every dollar to the needy because it is an all volunteer organization. Help us financially or contact us to find out how you can help personally. Together we can make a difference. Your donation is desperately needed now.  Mr. Wnek can be reached at mwnek@palmharbor,com  or cell number 863-660-0200. If you are tired of hearing about funding for earthquake victims not reaching the needy you will appreciate how effective the United Aid Foundation and www.hopeforhaitihealing.org really are

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