cramped living conditions Hong Kong

Cramped Living Spaces, 2



glitter beneath staggering (2)
crisis violence inequality
turmoil demand cripple (2)
blame ashamed hit/hit/hit
secret scandal equivalent
coffin identify reputation
dwell deep (2) circumstance
end up poverty poverty line
gap represent out of reach (2)
shaft authority build/built/built
packet struggle pay/paid/paid
prefer survival pay packet
protest army (2) human rights
narrow like this lose/lost/lost
access worse off buy/bought/bought
trust heart (3) voiceless (2)
cost subsidy underbelly
rent mattress manage (2)
earn resident build up trust
rely condition estimated
bolster carry on lead/led/led
dweller situation square (4)
afford executive chief executive
solve suffrage universal suffrage
coffin chief (3) fundamental
wait helpless forget/forgot/forgotten
ignore mention as a whole
focus issue (3) rather than
deal (3) demand take a look
voice lie down vulnerable






Beneath the glitter and glamour of Hong Kong, there’s staggering inequality and a crippling housing crisis.

There’d been months of turmoil and demands for democracy. The violence has hit Hong Kong’s reputation and economy. But the authorities are blaming the unrest on one of their most dirty secrets: the scandal of the coffin home dwellers.

Many of them are deeply ashamed of their circumstances and asked us not to identify them. They’re part of an army of Hong Kongers that is living below the poverty line in the world’s most expensive city, where affordable housing is out of reach to many.

This tiny home has been built in the gap between the lift shaft and the supporting walls, and the family and their six-month-old baby boy basically live on this bed together. They’ve been here for four years.

And for this they pay the equivalent of around 1,500 British pounds a month. It’s a struggle for survival and the protests have hit both the Hong Kong economy as a whole, but this families pay packet too.

Journalist: “Do you think the protest will end up with you getting better housing?”
Male Resident: “I don’t know. I don’t know but when it carries on like this I’ll lose my job very soon and I’ll have no money to buy food.”

But there are plenty worse off than him. All of these are homes, top and bottom. THey are just narrow enough for one single mattress. Here’re some more — not even long enough for someone to lie down in. And there are 15 of these in this one room.

Take a look inside one of them: it’s not even 2 square metres a home which will cost several hundred pounds per month to rent and most of the people
here earn very little and rely on housing subsidies.

This is the dark underbelly of Hong Kong, and understandably it’s very difficult for outsiders to get access to them. We only managed it by building up trust with some of the residents. There are an estimated 200,000 people living like this in Hong Kong, and the fight on the streets for votes is said to be central to bolstering the human rights here
which should lead to better living conditions.

Annie, Social Worker: “They don’t think the situation now, we can have it she’s chief executive to be represent us so they think the universal suffrage is so fundamental for Hong Kong to solve different social problems.”

The coffin home dwellers themselves feel helpless and forgotten by the government and the protesters. This man’s been waiting for better housing for ten years and lived in this box for three.

Coffin Home Tenant: “Why don’t they ever mention the housing problem in the democracy protests? There aren’t enough homes and people like me are just being ignored.”

Hong Kong’s leader prefers to focus on these social issues rather than dealing with the demands for democracy on the streets, which are at the heart of the protests and the city’s poor are mostly voiceless and vulnerable.

Alex Crawford Sky News Hong Kong .

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Mobile Home, Trailer Home. Is Hong Kong a rich city, a poor city, both, neither or in-between?

Cabin Recently, has Hong Kong been stable or chaotic and tumultous?

Cottage. Are the poor residents proud of their living conditions? Describe the family’s living conditions.

Bungalow. Is the cost of living in Hong Kong cheap, medium-priced, expensive or very expensive?

Family Home, Suburban Home. All accommodations are very big and spacious. True or false? Describe them.

Semi-Detached Houses. These poor people live in “coffin homes” because they are lazy. Is this right or wrong?

Town Houses, Terraced Houses. Do the protesters care about Hong Kong’s poor? Are they concerned about the poor?

Apartment, Flat. Describe the housing situation in your city. Is it the same throughout your country? Are some people destitute?

Apartment Block, Block of Flats. Over the years, has the situation improved, gotten worse or remained the same?

Apartment Complex, Housing Complex. Many people complain about housing prices and availability. Yes or no? Is there a lot of arguments and debates regarding (affordable) housing?

Condominium. Why is the housing situation the way it is?

Mansion, Manor. What might happen in the future?

Castle, Palace, Chateaux. Should the government do anything? What should the government and people do?

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