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Report: Delays, Cost Hikes Hit New Haiti Housing

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Higher costs and delays have forced the U.S. Agency for International Development to drastically scale back plans to build housing in Haiti.

The Government Accountability Office said in a report released Tuesday that initial plans to construct 15,000 houses have been reduced to 2,649. Inaccurate estimates and the Haitian government’s request for larger homes with flush toilets have made the project more expensive and caused delays.

After the January 2010 earthquake displaced some 2 million people, Congress voted to provide $1.14 billion in reconstruction funds, including $651 million for the agency. Some 230,000 were killed and 300,000 injured in the earthquake that struck the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

The report was released by leaders of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

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