27 December 2013
Last updated at 00:15
Old Havana was declared a Unesco World Heritage site in 1982 but some of its old colonial buildings are crumbling and in need of repair. Photographer Alison McCauley visited the homes of some residents to see for herself.
McCauley said: "These photographs are born from my desire to see what living inside the crumbling grandeur of Havana’s buildings looks like. I knocked on doors and begged permission to photograph the residents and the interiors of their homes."
The floor of the landing of this woman's apartment had caved in, and with no running water they have to tread carefully when carrying buckets of water inside.
Seven out of every 10 houses need major repairs, according to official statistics. Some 7% of housing in Havana has formally been declared uninhabitable.
A shortage of homes means the province around the capital needs some 300,000 more properties.
This lack of housing means that some of the once high-ceilinged houses have been divided with the installation of a new floor, creating a number of new apartments. But this puts weakened structures under additional strain.
This family's home has been damaged by water that infiltrated the building causing mould to grow on the walls.
"Despite the condition of the buildings, most of the homes I visited were filled with personal, social, cultural and religious clues about their occupants," said McCauley.
"Many were also filled with vibrant colours, mementos, belongings, beloved pets and human warmth and spirit."
The one-room dwelling where this woman lives has no windows or other ventilation so she has to leave her door open whenever she's at home.
Some improvements are being made with government grants. New regulations have also made it much faster - and simpler - to get a licence for new building work. Yet much has already been lost, with every day bringing another collapse, either partially or completely.