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'Coffin homes' of Hong Kong revealed in pictures

The Independent logo The Independent 13/05/2017 Olivia Blair

© Provided by Independent Print Limited A photographer has captured the homes of Hong Kong residents which have been dubbed “coffin homes” and branded “an insult to human dignity” by the United Nations. 

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 live in the “subdivided units” which can comprise of one 120 ft room.

Wong Tat-ming, 63, who is on benefits after sclerosis in his leg left him unable to drive a taxi, lives in a ‘coffin home’ which he pays HK$2,400 a month (£240). His possessions of a sleeping bag, small TV and electric fan are cramped into his three foot by six foot home. His bunk is next to toilets and a sink which are shared by up to 24 residents.

“It’s not cheap either,” he said. “Would you say it’s more expensive than living in a mansion?”

The newly appointed chief executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam has vowed to fix the housing crisis in the financial district and in her victory speech pledged to “assist Hong Kongers to attain home ownership and improve their living conditions”. 

The UN has previously branded some of the homes “an insult to human dignity”, the Daily Mail reports.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press.

Related: We are moving to this "rainbow village" in Indonesia and never coming back (Hello Giggles)

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