Desperate Hong Kongers Living in Shipping Containers



Posted by Ed 2 mths ago
As struggling locals look for somewhere - anywhere - to live for a relatively modest price, more are turning to an innovative, if illegal, solution.

According to Bloomberg, the latest housing trend in the New Territories, a region of Hong Kong that is mostly wetlands, parks and mountains, is building illegal houses out of prefabricated steel boxes.

Locals call them container homes. And while they're growing in popularity, almost all of them are illegal, having been built on land not zoned for housing, and/or without the government approval necessary to ensure it meets standards for ventilation and fire-safety.

After walking through a deserted plot of rural land on an unevenly paved road, Gilbert Wong arrives at a metal-fenced gate that looks like the entrance to a warehouse, or maybe a car park - ubiquitous in Hong Kong’s New Territories.

But behind this seemingly hostile facade is Wong’s humble home: a prefabricated steel box that looks a lot like a basic shipping container. Such dwellings, dubbed container homes, have become an increasingly popular option for residents squeezed out of the world’s least affordable property market.

The vast majority are also illegal.

"Of all the prefabricated homes in the style of a container that I have seen in ads or online, I can tell you 99.9 percent aren’t in compliance with the law," said Vincent Ho, a managing director at surveying and property consultancy firm Freevision Ltd.


Ed 2 mths ago

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