On August 12th, the Study Group on Cuba welcomed Steve Striffler, Chair, Latin American Studies, University of New Orleans,and John Lovett, Associate Dean and Property Law Professor at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. The topic of Tuesday's meeting was”Cuban Real Estate Market Revolution”. The Cuban Revolution implemented universal healthcare, education, and equitable distribution of rural land. By regulating the distribution of land, the Cuban government sought to avoid the concentration of land into the hands of the few. Prior to the Revolution, two percent of the population owned the majority and the best land. The Cuban government recently implemented Decree 288, thereby changing this long held policy. Professor Striffler addressed these new laws that have been put into place. Residents can now buy and sell their own property (with a limit of two properties per person). Private construction companies may be hired to complete work that previously was limited to the government. Professor Lovett discussedthe four things that Cuba needs to address to create a viable residential real estate market, similar to what is offered in the United States. The first is a better trained and well regulated real estate brokerage profession who could train, license and normalize a lot of the steps in the real estate transaction process. Second, clarity on the method of title assurance, where the government guarantees that the person listed on the official document of title is the owner. Third, a residential real estate financing system that allows for secured landing and finally, a decision on method of compensation for illegal expropriations. For more information on the Study Group on Cuba, click here.