The Village Mountain Mission was founded on a need for suitable housing in the rural communities of the Dominican Republic. The Construction program was formed to fill this need for families in these small villages. Since its founding, we have had full time staff living in and around the communities to see where the need actually lies. Most of the houses we have built have come from community recommendations, especially from community leaders such as pastors and teachers. The order in which we address these recommendations is based on where the greatest need lies. Since we began, we have built for over 70 families spread throughout the communities around us.
There are some stipulations to see if a candidate is able to receive a house. First of all, the family has to own the land we will be building on, the land cannot be rented. This ensures that a greedy landlord will not take the house from the family because it is in good shape after we build the house. This also makes it less likely for the family to leave for any reason after we have built. It is also important for us to get someone to look at the land they are wanting us to build on in case there is an issue such as the area being a flood zone or the slope being too great.
The houses that we build are all variations of a design that was created by an engineer. It usually consists of a block wall that are several blocks above the floor level, and then the top half of the house is wood frame with wood siding. The window shutters and doors are made of wood boards, which we buy hardware for so they are able to be locked. We are able to make small adjustments on the spot but any major adjustments to the design must be approved by an engineer. These houses were designed with the limited materials and tools that we have available in mind. We also keep in mind that we will have people who are most likely not used to doing construction and may make mistakes so we have a high factor of safety. All structural parts of the building are inspected by our staff as we go to ensure that it is built up to our standards and no major mistakes are made that could decrease the structure integrity of the house.