These are the places known as Coffin-Homes in Hong Kong – and there are 15 of them in a room which takes a mere couple of strides to cover. They are tiny, cramped, windowless boxes where Hong Kong’s most poor and desperate end up living. And here, in the most expensive city in the world; in one of the world’s top financial hubs, there are an estimated 200,000 people existing in condition like this, below the poverty line. People are forced to live in these Coffin-Homes
People are forced to live in Coffin-Homes
Each small box, roughly 24 inches wide and 67 inches long and packed side by side is someone’s home. Statistically, an actual average-sized casket is bigger – by several inches. In many parts of the privileged Western world, these would not be considered suitable for animals to live in. And for this, they will pay around $2,400 Hong Kong dollars a month. The bed bugs come free. Sky News visited one of the high-rise blocks and found the coffin- homes people are ashamed of their conditions and circumstances. But they are proud too and shirk sympathy and understandably shun outsiders. The landlords, who are often illegally exploiting their vulnerable customers, are not too keen on foreigners investigating either.
The most expensive in the world
Cramming human beings into as confined a space as possible, in high-rise apartments, presents a range of health and safety dangers, not least fire and disease. It is staggering that this is the city considered the most expensive in the world for those looking to buy a new home. According to one report, the average price of a home in Hong Kong this year was more than $1.2m. It is also one of the most unequal societies in the world – meaning affordable housing is plain out of reach for a lot Hong Kongers.
Many of the residents have lived like this for years. One man in a wooden coffin home which had been tacked onto and suspended from the ceiling told how he had been on the housing waiting list for 10 years.