GLOBAL ECONOMY

Despite Reforms, Housing Market In Cuba Sputters
Official government statistics show new construction has declined in Cuba since Raul Castro assumed the presidency from his older brother Fidel in 2008.
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In this April 12, 2014 photo, youngsters play baseball next to rundown buildings in Havana, Cuba. The country lacks around 500,000 units of housing according to the most recent government numbers from 2010. The problem grows each year as more buildings fall further into disrepair, punished year-round by the tropical sun, sea and wind.(AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

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In this April 10, 2014 photo, Lazaro Marquez, holds his daughter at his home in Havana, Cuba. Marquez and his family live in a substandard apartment whose ceiling leaks wastewater every time the family upstairs flushes the toilet. To leave the home, his daughter, who is paralyzed and unable to talk, must be carried in her wheelchair down precarious stairs on the verge of caving in. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

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In this March 7, 2014 photo, a woman sitting on a chair waits in a street of Havana, Cuba, to be informed of where she will be relocated after the building where she lived was vacated due to the danger of collapse after the structure failed. Despite reforms in recent years to address the islands housing problem, such building collapses remain common in Cuba, where decades of neglect and a dearth of new apartments has left untold thousands of islanders living in crowded structures at risk of suddenly falling down. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

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In this April 12, 2014 photo, people talk on the doorstep of their house in Havana, Cuba. Official government statistics show new construction has actually declined since Raul Castro assumed the presidency from his older brother Fidel in 2008. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

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In this April 12, 2014 photo, a man walks past a building that collapsed due to the heavy rain next to an image of revolutionary leader Che Guevara in Havana, Cuba. Despite reforms in recent years to address the islands housing problem, such building collapses remain common in Cuba, where decades of neglect and a dearth of new apartments has left untold thousands of islanders living in crowded structures at risk of suddenly falling down. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

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In this March 7, 2014 photo, Anaidis Ramirez lies on a bed with his belongings as he waits to be informed of where he will be relocated after the building where he lived was vacated due to the danger of collapse after the structure failed. Despite reforms in recent years to address the islands housing problem, such building collapses remain common in Cuba, where decades of neglect and a dearth of new apartments has left untold thousands of islanders living in crowded structures at risk of suddenly falling down. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

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In this April 12, 2014 photo, children play soccer near a colonial building in Havana, Cuba. When President Raul Castro legalized a real estate market for the first time in five decades, it was expected to stimulate both new construction and maintenance of existing homes. But 2 ½ years later, there's only been a minimal impact on easing one of Cuba's biggest challenges: a chronic lack of suitable housing. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

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In this April 12, 2014 photo, a man drives his motorcycle with a sidecar next to buildings of the Alamar neighborhood in Havana, Cuba. Around Havana, Cubans can be seen taking advantage of the materials now available as they add second stories to their homes, enclose balconies to turn them into an extra room or throw on a fresh coat of paint. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

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In this April 12, 2014 photo, a man in a wheelchair passes next to a living room set sitting on the steet to dry, next to a poster of a house that reads "Swap Agreement" in Havana, Cuba. Around Havana Cubans can be seen taking advantage of the materials now available as they add second stories to their homes, enclose balconies to turn them into an extra room or throw on a fresh coat of paint. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Despite Reforms, Housing Market In Cuba Sputters

Official government statistics show new construction has declined in Cuba since Raul Castro assumed the presidency from his older brother Fidel in 2008.

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