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Unbelievable Life Inside Hong Kong’s ‘coffin homes’

In contrast to all the nice pictures of modern flats and luxurious style of living, we are now bringing you a different point of view. This post is focused on living in Hong Kong, a city where skyrocketing rental prices have driven the residents into rooftop shacks, cages and coffin homes.

  • Images show the degrading conditions, including combined toilets and kitchens and tiny bunk beds
  • Single mother of two, Li Suet-wen, pays AUD$785 (USD$580, £447) for 120-square-foot one-room ‘shoebox’
  • Rental prices in Hong Kong have soared 50 percent in past five years, now world’s most unaffordable market

The country has been ranked the world’s least affordable housing market for seven years by the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey ranking it higher than Sydney, London and New York. Home prices have risen 370 per cent since a six year slump ended in 2003, reports Bloomberg.

According to the Associated Press, 200,000 of Hong Kong’s 7.3 million residents leave in the “subdivided units” which can comprise of one 120 ft room.

Associated Press photographer Kin Cheung spent time recently photographing some of the tiny subdivided housing units in Hong Kong, known as “coffin homes,” and those who live in them.

Cheung reports that there is a “dark side to the property boom in Wealthy Hong Kong, where hundreds of thousands of people priced out of the market must live in partitioned apartments, ‘coffin homes’ and other inadequate housing.”

In this Friday, March 17, 2017 photo, Li Suet-wen and her son, 6, and daughter, 8, live in a 120-square foot room crammed with a bunk bed, small couch, fridge, washing machine and small table in an aging walkup in Hong Kong as she pays HK$4,500 ($580) a month in rent and utilities. That’s nearly half the HK$10,000 ($1,290) she earns at a bakery decorating cakes. They’re among an estimated 200,000 people in the former British colony living in “subdivided units.” That’s 18 percent more than four years ago and includes 35,500 children 15 and under, government figures show. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
In this Thursday, March 28, 2017 photo, residents who only gave their surname Yeung, left and Lui, take rest in their “coffin homes” in Hong Kong. In wealthy Hong Kong, there’s a dark side to a housing boom, with hundreds of thousands of people forced to live in partitioned shoebox apartments, “coffin homes” and other “inadequate housing.(AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

In this Thursday, March 28, 2017 photo, Cheung Chi-fong, 80, sleeps in his tiny “coffin home” where he cannot stretch out his legs in Hong Kong. In wealthy Hong Kong, there’s a dark side to a housing boom, with hundreds of thousands of people forced to live in partitioned shoebox apartments, “coffin homes” and other “inadequate housing.(AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
In this Thursday, May 4, 2017 photo, Hong Kong residents, who only gave their surname, Lam, top left, Wan, top right, and Kitty Au, pose at their “coffin homes” in Hong Kong. In wealthy Hong Kong, there’s a dark side to a housing boom, with hundreds of thousands of people forced to live in partitioned shoebox apartments, “coffin homes” and other “inadequate housing.(AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
In this Thursday, May 4, 2017 photo, Simon Wong, an unemployed man, watches TV in his “coffin home” in Hong Kong. In wealthy Hong Kong, there’s a dark side to a housing boom, with hundreds of thousands of people forced to live in partitioned shoebox apartments, “coffin homes” and other “inadequate housing.(AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
In this Thursday, April 20, 2017 photo, a five year-old boy plays outside his tiny home which is made of concrete and corrugated metal on the terrace of a apartment block as he lives with his parents in an illegal rooftop hut where is located next to a public housing estate at the background in Hong Kong. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
In this Thursday, March 28, 2017 photo, a resident who only gave his surname Yeung, takes rest in his “coffin home” in Hong Kong. In wealthy Hong Kong, there’s a dark side to a housing boom, with hundreds of thousands of people forced to live in partitioned shoebox apartments, “coffin homes” and other “inadequate housing.(AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
In this Thursday, May 4, 2017 photo, Kitty Au plays with her hamster in her “coffin home” in Hong Kong. In wealthy Hong Kong, there’s a dark side to a housing boom, with hundreds of thousands of people forced to live in partitioned shoebox apartments, “coffin homes” and other “inadequate housing.(AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
In this Thursday, March 28, 2017 photo, Tse Chu, a retired waiter, sleeps in his “coffin home” in Hong Kong. In wealthy Hong Kong, there’s a dark side to a housing boom, with hundreds of thousands of people forced to live in partitioned shoebox apartments, “coffin homes” and other “inadequate housing.(AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
In this Thursday, March 28, 2017 photo, a set of grimy toilets and single sink shared by the coffin home’s two dozen inhabitants, including a few single women, is located at a flat in Hong Kong. In wealthy Hong Kong, there’s a dark side to a housing boom, with hundreds of thousands of people forced to live in partitioned shoebox apartments, “coffin homes” and other “inadequate housing.(AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
In this Thursday, May 4, 2017 photo, a resident who only gave his surname Sin, 55, tidies up the bed in his “coffin home” in Hong Kong. In wealthy Hong Kong, there’s a dark side to a housing boom, with hundreds of thousands of people forced to live in partitioned shoebox apartments, “coffin homes” and other “inadequate housing.(AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
In this Friday, March 17, 2017 photo, Li Suet-wen and her son, 6, and daughter, 8, live in a 120-square foot room crammed with a bunk bed, small couch, fridge, washing machine and small table in an aging walkup in Hong Kong as she pays HK$4,500 ($580) a month in rent and utilities. That’s nearly half the HK$10,000 ($1,290) she earns at a bakery decorating cakes. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Widening inequality helped drive mass pro-democracy protests in 2014. Young people despair of ever owning homes of their own. They lack space even to have sex, one activist lawmaker said last fall, using a coarse Cantonese slang term that caused a stir.

The post Unbelievable Life Inside Hong Kong’s ‘coffin homes’ appeared first on Livinator.



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