Felicia Perez and Her Havana Home (Video)

Flicia Perez tells her story.

HAVANA TIMES – Felicia’s story isn’t an isolated case, there are many families in Havana living in precarious housing. Some people have even lost their lives because they collapse, others have ended up in temporary accommodation, which have very poor living conditions.

One of the State’s responses to the national housing crisis, has been to give residents places like old warehouses or stores that are no longer in use. The State then sells them some of the building materials they need to do up the place, but the family has to buy the rest at market price, pay the builders and at least on paper the State gives them a loan or some money for these expenses which they don’t have to pay back which is known as a “subsidy”.

Felicia only wants a bank loan or a subsidy, any of the established means to help low-income families. She and her husband are now retired, receive a state pension and their children have very low incomes, so they can’t afford to renovate the place, much less make an apartment.

Felicia has turned 73 years old, and she has spent 30 of those years struggling to try and fix up the place they were given, an old warehouse. In the ‘70s, the building they used to live in was declared “uninhabitable”, in danger of collapsing, so they were given the place they currently live in, at no. 834 Aguila street between Gloria and Corrales streets in Old Havana.

A housing official explained to her that they had been given this place because of the number of people in the family, that they would be given material over time to build rooms; in other words, to build a home suitable for a family.

Decades have passed and Felicia hasn’t received any help at all. Today, she is a retired woman, with a low income (retirement in Cuba for most people is between 10 and 15 USD a month), who can’t afford to do up the place at all, much less build a home. Her only wish is that her situation is recognized and that a government official keeps their word and gives them what they were promised and have a right to.  

 
 


9 thoughts on “Felicia Perez and Her Havana Home (Video)

  • My heart bleeds for these people. My wife and I have visited this incredible island nation 22 times and become family with many individuals living in Moron and the region of Cayo Coco. We are doing are best to help these families we love who are in need. We have sent groceries, loaded up debit cards so they can shop in stores where goods are available if paying in U.S. dollars, and making sure their phones are topped up so they can have access to the outside world. All of us in Canada love the Cuban people and eagerly await the presidential election confirming President Biden as the leader of the free world come Nov.3rd. President Biden will continue where president Obama left off with regards to Cuba. The world will rejoice when drump and his enablers and family are 6 feet under, that is what they deserve.

  • I much admire Anonymous Donor for actually taking action. For Felicia it will change her life from misery to being tolerable – well done!
    Felicia is however but one of the many thousands of Cubans who exist in similar circumstances and those of us who actually take action are insufficient in number. (I have previously funded the purchase of two homes for Cuban families)
    Will others follow the wonderful gesture of Anonymous Donor?

  • Thank you, Circles! I look forward to it.

    While I respect the right of all to their opinion, this is not the time for politicizing and making arguments for propagandistic gain. We should learn from the lesson of the Covid19 pandemic! There are times when it doesn’t matter who is at fault and who is right. We are just called upon to show our human empathy and solidarity. I remember very well that some years ago, after a particularly devastating hurricane – I cannot remember whether it was Hurricane Mitch or some other one – but the landfall was in a town called Los Palacios, Cuba asked the Bush administration to lift the blockade for just 6 months so they could buy building and construction materials. And, of course, to use the title of the Beny More song, “Hoy como Ayer”, the answer that came back was a resounding “No”!

    As a Christian, I have no doubt that the world will be resurrected from the current medical tragedy. Let us learn the lesson of our common humanity and the solidarity we must practice. On my last trip to Canada, I was shocked to see homeless people sleeping all around the most high-end store of Montreal on St Catherine Street. Likewise in my city, there are homeless people roaming the streets even under the lockdown. I will not rave and rant, however, against any government. I have volunteered to deliver food from a food pantry for the elderly and disabled in my neighborhood.

    Happy Easter to Felicia in Cuba!

  • I will pass your message on to the person who made the video.

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