Saturday, January 30, 2016

Residents Of Cuba’s ‘Oil-houses’ Will Be Relocated

Residents Of Cuba's 'Oil-houses' Will Be Relocated / 14ymedio
Posted on January 29, 2016

14ymedio, 28 January 2016 — On Tuesday, the residents of El Molino
neighborhood in Havana's Cotorro district, were summoned in two groups
to the municipal People's Power to be informed that within a period of
no more than 18 months they will be relocated into other housing, due to
the calamitous state of the "petrocasas" (oil-houses) they were given
less than a year ago.

A report titled "The Oil-houses are Falling Apart," published by
14ymedio last week, revealed the deterioration and lack of finishes seen
in the buildings and the infrastructure of this Havana settlement. The
residents' discontent had led to a situation that is "ready to explode,"
confessed a resident of the area.

According to the testimonies of several local residents who participated
in the meeting on Tuesday, the president of the Municipal Assembly,
Teresa Beltran Santana, let them know that their complaints had reached
those "very high up" and that according to studies, "the buildings had
barely a year of life left in them."

Zoraida Dopico, the mother of two children who lives in El Molino, is
surprised by the solution they've been promised and adds, "Everyone
knows that this was all constructed in a big rush and that it wouldn't
survive the first hurricane. When we complained that we were in danger,
many said we were exaggerating," says the woman.

Dopico confirms the long list of complaints and letters sent to official
institutions. "We went to see Esteban Lazo, President of Parliament, and
wrote letters to all levels … The problem even came out on the
Internet!" said the lady, referring to the report published in this

Carlos, whose testimony was collected in 14ymedio's first report,
recalls that shortly after the buildings were inaugurated, staff from
the government TV program "Cuba Dice" (Cuba Says) came by. However,
"they only told them about buildings with Chinese technology, which are
concrete," the elderly man remembers. The petrocasas are made from
polyvinyl chloride panels.

With a certain sarcasm, the man predicted "surely at some moment they
will show up here and they always find someone who seems content to have
a microphone shoved in their face."

Some were more cautious from the start and didn't let their dreams run
away with them in the petrocasas settlement, as is the case with a
retired construction worker who commented, "It was clear to me, they
didn't even change the addresses on our ID Cards. Now with the move I'm
not going to have to go to the end of the line because according to the
paperwork I was never here," he smiled.

For some, like Zoraida Dopico, the problem does not end with the
transfer of the residents to another location. "The worst thing is that
nobody cares who's going to pay for all this. These components were
brought from Spain, they paid salaries and spent millions doing it all
so badly," said the neighbor.

When asked if the government will find homes for so many people in less
than a year and a half, she replied: "They do not want to see people
here explode and if this problem isn't solved quickly, what is going to
develop here is going to be a revolution."

Cuba faces a profound housing crisis with a deficit of more than 600,000
homes, and also a lack of maintenance of the buildings that are in a
precarious state. According to official data, of 3.7 million properties
in the country, almost 40 percent are in poor condition. However, only
27,000 homes were built in 2015.

Source: Residents Of Cuba's 'Oil-houses' Will Be Relocated / 14ymedio |
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