Housing shortages and lack of access to basic utilities in existing housing units has been an ongoing problem throughout most of the country. In recent years, the government has initiated and participated in several programs focusing on low-income housing construction. These have included a $30-million low-cost housing program sponsored by the Housing Finance Corp. and a $19-million venture undertaken by the National Housing Institute.
In 1998, Hurricane Mitch destroyed about 33,000 homes and damaged an additional 50,000. Assistance from organizations such as USAID and the Inter-American Development Bank have aided in reconstruction efforts, which were still ongoing as of the end of 2001. As of 2000, about 90% of the population had access to improved water sources; 77% of the population had access to improved sanitation systems.