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Originally from: https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2017/05/the-coffin-homes-of-hong-kong/526881/

The 'Coffin Homes' of Hong Kong

  1. Associated Press photographer Kin Cheung and photographer Benny Lam have documented the suffocating living conditions in Hong Kong’s subdivided flats, recording the lives of these hidden communities 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.” These residents are among an estimated 200,000 people in Hong Kong living in such tiny subdivided units, some so small that a person cannot even fully stretch out their legs.

Wong Tat-ming, 63, sits in his "coffin home" which is next to a set of grimy toilets in Hong Kong as he pays HK$2,400 ($310) a month for a compartment measuring three feet by six feet, on March 28, 2017. It is crammed with all his meager possessions, including a sleeping bag, small color TV and electric fan.

 A 400 sq ft flat can be subdivided to accommodate nearly 20 double-decker sealed bed spaces.

A kitchen-toilet complex in a cage home

The photographs highlight the reality of Hong Kong’s housing crisis, where tens of thousands of people live in these cramped conditions because they can’t afford anything else.

Many cage home residents awake to the cruel reality that all the shimmer and prosperity of Hong Kong is out of reach.

An estimated 100,000 people in Hong Kong live in inadequate housing, according to the Society for Community Organisation (SoCO)

These photographs were taken for SoCO, an NGO fighting for policy changes and decent living standards in the city.

Cage homes are minuscule rooms lived in by the poorest people in the city. Over the last 10 years, the number of cage homes made of wire mesh has decreased, but they’ve been replaced by beds sealed with wooden planks

‘I’m still alive and yet I am already surrounded by four coffin planks!’ … Hong Kong’s cage home tenants.

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