|The Management of Revolving Funds for House Improvement Loans (HABITAT, 1991, 142 p.)|
|I. THE REVOLVING FUND FOR HOUSE IMPROVEMENT LOANS|
|A. Some general information - the actors|
The agency responsible for low-cost housing in the Dominican Republic is the National Housing Institute (INVI) established in 1962. According to its constituting law, INVI should have been responsible for:
(a) Promoting national housing policy and programmes in close co-operation with the National Planning Office (ONAPLAN);
(b) Assuming responsibility for the implementation and administration of housing projects in the public sector;
(c) Integrating the private sector in the production of low-cost housing;
(d) Technically assisting and offering advice to people and organized groups interested in solving their housing problems;
(e) Promoting the production of urban and rural housing by means of self-help and mutual aid;
(f) Identifying the land required for the execution of the projects envisaged by the National Housing Plan and requesting its expropriation by the Executive Power;
(g) Creating the conditions to enable low-income families access to the dwellings produced, taking into account their socio-economic requirements and conditions.
INVIs administrative structure is centralized, comprising the following hierachical levels:
(a) The Board of Directors, responsible for the formulation of policy, strategy, programmes and projects of the Institution. It also controls the activities and implementation of the plans.
(b) The Director General, responsible for the execution of the policy and programmes, programming the operations and securing compliance with the Boards decisions.
(c) The technical-operations level in charge of the implementation of the schemes and programmes of the institution. This level is composed of 10 departments, 19 sections and two logistic service units.
ORGANIZATIONAL CHART OF THE NATIONAL HOUSING INSTITUTE (INVI)
The staff of INVI consists of 440 employees of whom 21 are executives, 168 professionals and technicians, and 251 lower-level employees. As often happens, despite its statutory responsibilities and policy options, INVIs activities have concentrated in the past on the construction of approximately 10,000 walk-up apartments for middle-income households. During the period 1983 to 1985 and following the election promises of the President, INVI began with the construction of more than 30,000 dwelling units for lower-middle-and middle-income households in Santo Domingo, the capital, and in Santiago. The scheme proved to be beyond the financial and organizational capacity of the Institute and was discontinued in 1985. In addition to the heavy financial losses, INVIs prestige and image were damaged as well.
Whereas personnel and administration costs are financed out of INVIs rental income, investment and construction funds are provided out of the Governments budgetary contributions. The Institute, therefore, depends heavily on fluctuating sources of funding and the current economic-political situation. Due to the inflexibility of governmental credit policy on the one hand and accelerating inflation (particularly since 1986) on the other hand, INVI has been decapitalizing rapidly.
With the technical and financial support of the German Society for Technical Co-operation (GTZ), INVI planned and, since 1982, has implemented a pilot integrated squatter-settlement upgrading project, El Caliche in Santo Domingo. As a result of the experience gained, the House Improvement Loan Scheme in Santiago was designed and is being implemented. Although house and squatter-settlement upgrading do not play an important role in INVIs policy and programmes yet, it is hoped that the significance of such activities will gradually be recognized by INVIs management and by other policy-making authorities, and that such projects will be planned and implemented in the future both by the Government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).