14ymedio, Havana, 5 February 2016 – Building or repairing a house in Cuba is a road strewn with obstacles, which begin with getting the permits, finding labor and buying materials. Despite the new programs to locally produce aggregates and blocks, the providers can’t keep up in the face of the high demand in a country where more than 60% of housing units are in fair or poor condition.
Sales of construction materials are also marked by the so-called “diversion” (i.e. stealing) of resources, mismanagement, the arbitrary behavior of prices and the shortages of products in greatest demand: cement, iron bars, and cement and zinc tiles.
At places where these products are sold in Cuban pesos, often missing are doors, windows, bathroom fixtures, paint, plastic parts for piping and hydraulic and sanitary fittings. The situation becomes even more critical with mosaics and tiles, concrete joists and water tanks.