Everyone loves tiny houses. Compact, efficient and cheaper than “normal-sized” homes, they’re becoming prized by America’s eco-conscious and trendy. But in Hong Kong, a housing market on the brink of implosion is pushing low-income residents into dwellings that are so small, they go beyond “tiny” and right into inhumane.
Rents in this Asian metropolis average an astounding $1,300 per single square foot—higher than in New York City. With few options, underprivleged families are often forced into subdivided housing units—narrow boxes that average 40 square feet each, though some run even smaller than that.
The Society for Community Organization released photos of these units to bring to light Hong Kong’s lack of affordable, safe housing for the elderly, unemployed and day-laboring families living in one of the world’s richest cities. Though government agencies have taken some measures to slow the market’s pricing increases, little has been done to address the housing needs of the city’s impoverished.
Photo: Society for Community Organization