On January 13, 2001 earthquakes struck the Central American country of El Salvador. USAID subsequently committed to constructing 26,000 houses in the region, at a cost of approximately $4,000 per house, to help the recovery process. The post summarizes the GAO report on the topic.
The chart below shows the rate of housing completions, behind schedule due primarily to:
- Getting clarification on land permits
- Finding quality in-country contractors who could build to the design
- Delays to the process of approving contractors to start work
- Delay in establishing the appropriate presence in-country and recruiting staff
Also, once the houses were complete, often they didn’t have electricity and water because the occupants could not afford the connection costs ($90 and $300 respectively). This could have been foreseen because the houses were targeted at low income families earning under $288/month.
Overall, the project achieved results, just slower than expected and with some issues such as water and electricity connectivity that could have been foreseen.