Cuba - Housing



Within the past few years decades, Cuban housing has begun to catch up to population demand. Nearly 1.3 million housing units were built between 1959 and 1993. In the 1980s, over half of all housing units were detached houses. The remainder were apartments, palm huts called hohios, and cuarterias, housing units in buildings composed of a number of detached rooms where occupants share some or all facilities. More than half of all dwellings were concrete and brick, about one-third were solid wood, and a smaller number were constructed with palm planks. Water was piped indoors to roughly half of all homes and outside to one-fifth; about half had private bath facilities. Housing conditions have generally improved over the past few years. By 1998, about 87% of urban dwellings were graded as Good or Fair, as were 68% of rural dwellings.

Though most dwellings are built by the state, there are a few cooperative and individual concerns represented in the market. Habitat-Cuba, a non-government organization, has been working with local architects and low-income families to provide quality, low-cost housing. Part of this program involves using indigenous and more easily renewable materials for construction, such as clay and bamboo.

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