Rebuilding Haiti: Houses for Haiti’s homeless.

The design presented by New York-based Veerhouse Voda, using a model invented in Holland, was typical of the better-looking homes, with polystyrene walls a foot thick and a good cross-breeze from the large windows dropping the temperature indoors.

The steel frames and walls of the two-bedroom house were erected on a cement slab by a half a dozen workers in four days and residents could move in within a week once the plaster was applied, managing director Channa Perera of New York City said.

The house has a 1,000-litre water tank and a $1,500 solar panel system strong enough to power lights, radio and a television for four to six hours. It’s guaranteed for 70 years, and has been tested for high winds and seismic resistance.

The 620-square-foot house (about the same size as a one-bedroom condo in Montreal) would sell for about $20,000, Perera said. If Veerhouse Voda wins a contract, it would build a factory in Haiti to make the materials locally to build 6,000 houses annually and avoid shipping costs and delays at Haiti’s bureaucratic and often corrupt customs. (Almost all exhibitors suffered waits of weeks or months at customs, despite the fact they were shipping to a government-run exposition.)