Skyrocketing rents in Hong Kong have seen a rise in the number of people living in “coffin” homes.
With property prices jumping nearly 50 per cent since 2012, it is estimated more than 200,000 people now live like 61-year-old Ziwa Wong, in a tiny space that’s just 1.8 square metres.
Reuters reports many apartments have been subdivided to create tiny “coffin” homes to meet the demand for such housing. Most of these so-called “homes” are now cubicles, rather than the cages that dominated the market several years ago.
Wong has been living in cubicle housing for 20 years, and says he applied for public housing two years ago but has yet to hear back from the government. In the meantime he is paying a massive US$226 ($299) per month for the “privilege” of living in a tiny box along with 30 or so other close neighbours.
The United Nations has described such housing as “an insult to human dignity”.
Hong Kong was recently named as the most unaffordable major housing market in the world in Demographia’s 13th annual International Housing Affordability Survey.
Sydney was named as the second least affordable housing marking, and Melbourne and the regional cities of Wingecarribee and Tweed Heads, also made the top 10.
This article was originally published on Stuff.