Official Report on Cuban Housing Crisis Shows Deficit of 800,000 Homes

By: Karina Martín - Jul 13, 2017, 3:33 pm
The problem mostly stems from a lack of maintenance to existing housing, Director of Housing Ministry Vivian Rodríguez said, and buildings’ continued deterioration.(Twitter)

EspañolCuba currently faces a drastic housing crisis.

A report presented to the island’s Parliament revealed “critical” problems stretching back a century, and which manifested in a deficit of more than 880,000 homes in 2016.

The problem mostly stems from a lack of maintenance to existing housing, Director of Housing Ministry Vivian Rodríguez said, and buildings’ continued deterioration.

Most of the buildings are reportedly over 30 years old, and the housing program has fallen drastically behind schedule this year. Of the 9,700 homes that are supposed to receive maintenance, only 5,722 have been completed.

Government officials claimed to have allocated about US $120 million since the start of the subsidy program in 2012. And official data places the deficit at a mildly less alarming 206,000 homes. But the central province of Camagüey has itself registered a deficit of 71,000 and the eastern province of Holguín and Santiago de Cuba of 147,000 and 103,000, respectively.

The report blamed the crisis on poor preparation and quality control during the construction process, which came to fruition after officials visited 120 municipalities across the country. It also blamed insufficient control of building materials storage and delays in responses to paperwork.

Despite building licenses that allowed materials to be bought and sold in 2010, the housing deficit in Cuba has increased by 200,000 in just three years.

Rodríguez said the government is working to find a solution to the problem.

“We are working on a 10-year strategy to achieve sustainable housing development using a territorial approach, starting with local structures, in order to stop deterioration and to reduce the housing deficit,” she said.

Source: Cubanet; Vanguardia.

Karina Martín Karina Martín

Karina Martín is a Venezuelan reporter with the PanAm Post based in Valencia. She holds a bachelor's degree in Modern Languages from the Arturo Michelena University.

Family of Former Minister to Chávez Called to Testify in Odebrecht Corruption Scandal

By: Sabrina Martín - @SabrinaMartinR - Jul 13, 2017, 2:00 pm
el-troudi-odebrecht (1)

EspañolFollowing years of silence about investigations into an Odebrecht bribery case in Venezuela, the country's Prosecutor's Office has finally accused someone of corruption: the relatives of Hugo Chavez's former Minister Haiman El Troudi. The Venezuelan Public Prosecutor's Office scheduled a hearing for July 27 for the wife and mother-in-law of the former Deputy and Minister El Troudi. They are allegedly connected to acts of corruption related to the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, which has bribed politicians across Latin America in exchange for building contracts. In a message on Twitter, El Troudi said his role as a Minister was transparent and that he, not his relatives, will appear before the Public Ministry. "They are going after my family knowing that they have nothing to do with the administrative processes and my efforts as a minister," he said. "It's pure evil." Haiman El Troudi @MaimanVZLA  I wish to express my opinions about this villainy with a clean conscious, and my head held high.  In a ruling issued after the summons, the Supreme Court of Justice decided that the Prosecutor's Office can only charge people before the control judge of each case. Attorney General Luisa Ortega Díaz, who has broken away from Nicolás Maduro's regime of late, said many officials in Venezuela have received bribes from Odebrecht. According to comments by Marcelo Odebrecht, former CEO of the construction company, Venezuela accepted the second-highest amount of bribes — at US $98 million — behind only Brazil, where the company is based. Through social media, Venezuelan journalist Alberto Rodríguez shared an image of someone detained in the United States for "identity theft" — Pedro Baptista Zacarías, the presumed brother-in-law of El Troudi, who was mentioned in the Odebrecht case. Alberto Rodriguez @AlbertoRT51 This is Pedro Baptista Zacarías (38) brother in law of the former minister Haiman El Troudi, who was arrested in the US for identity theft.   According to Rodríguez, the brother-in-law of Troudi has been accused of the identity theft by over a hundred people. Alberto Rodriguez @AlbertoRT51 The brother-in-law of the former minister Haiman El Troudi was arrested in the US under criminal charges of identity theft #13Ju (1/3) Source: Correo del Caroní, El Nuevo Herald

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