The United States saw more housing units constructed in 2005 than it had in history (2.15 million according to the US Census). Still, this paled in comparison to the effort of the Cuban state in 2006, which produced 110,000 units, or 85 units per 1000 people. The US number is 71 units per every 1000.
Like most countries in the world (including the US), Cuba has a housing shortage. Even though the housing stock has grown by 80% on the island since the Revolution, a growth rate much faster than population growth (57%), it has not been enough to house all those young families and singles who desire a place of their own. Cost is not so much the issue as is availability.
To this end, Cuba embarked on an ambitious program in 2006. It spent $300 million on new housing units, or roughly $3,000 per unit - an amazing figure in itself. In California, houses cost at least $300,000 to build without profit and without land costs factored in.
Unlike in the US, where nearly all but the few thousand subsidized apartments go to those able to pay market prices for homes (maybe the top 20% of the country) - in Cuba the new units are distributed accroding to need and social criteria such as those living in overcrowded homes.
While we're on housing, it is worth mentioning that more Cubans own their homes than in the US and most other nations in the world. This is because the Revolutionary Urban Reform Law declared that all new housing would cost just 10% of Cubans salary and would be paid off between 10 and 20 years. Also, rent by law, can not cost more than 10% of salary. In the US, most pay upwards of 25% of their income and the poor usually pay more than 30% (a guideline even the US government considers unacceptably high). Also, the propostion of those in Cuba living in good living conditions has gone from 57% to more than 80% since the Revolution.
The main reason for the differences: in Cuba housing is considered a right and is connected to larger issues of equality and fairness. Housing is not a commodity, but a means of ensuring equal access to jobs, health, schools and culture. Here in the US, where housing is 100% a commodity, we see the results in our segregation, our inequality, our divisions.
Still Cuba knows it has a ways to go (Granma noted continued insufficiencies) and is looking at repeating the results in 2007.