Cuba undertaking huge construction programme

Campaign News | Thursday, 1 September 2005

150,000 new homes to be built

Havana, Sep 1 (Prensa Latina) Cuba is carrying out a far-reaching housing construction project to recover from the damage caused by hurricanes and to resolve the domestic housing shortage, according to Cuban Vice President Carlos Lage Davila.

In his briefing to a special session of the National Assembly of People?s Power on Thursday, Carlos Lage said that 150,000 houses would be built and 380,000 conservation and restoration works would be accomplished in late 2005 and through 2006.

Lage stated the program requires a broad investment and resource plan in foreign and national currency to renew and increase the production of construction materials.

It is the greatest effort made in the sector and the main goal is to benefit families, who will build their own houses with the cooperation of construction officials and society, he added.

The Cuban vice president explained that the State, unions, social and workers? bodies would distribute houses, and financial assistance would be provided to people with low incomes and economic difficulties.

In 1959, 2.2 million Cubans paid high rents and 400,000 faced overcrowding and poverty; the population paid up to 50 percent of their income for housing and 2.8 million lacked access to electricity.

Today, they pay a maximum of 10 percent of their income for housing, and electricity now reaches 95.9 of the population. In addition, 86 percent own their houses, a figure that is exceptional in the world, he emphasized.

He also referred to the serious damage caused in the last four years by meteorological phenomena and six hurricanes, chiefly the latest, Dennis, which hit over 174,000 houses and destroyed 20,000 last July.

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