Four-year-old Vera Wong Zi-wei’s favourite possession isn’t the most up-to-date Disney princess doll, but her new study desk that suits to the 200 sq ft subdivided flat in Sham Shui Po she calls home.
Wong’s desk, including a secret compartment on her stationery and toys, is a rare commodity for families that happen to be squeezed into cluttered, shoebox apartments.
“She utilized to only be capable of do homework with a folding table that needed to be set aside on a regular basis, the good news is she could work and play within the same space. It’s the first place she would go to when she gets home now,” Wong’s mother, Yan Nga-chi, said.
Coffin cubicles, caged homes and subdivisions … life inside Hong Kong’s grim low income housing
Wong, who lives together mother and grandmother, is one of 70 low-income families that contain benefitted coming from a project that aims to transform the living area of tiny flats with Furniture hk.
“Many grass-roots families don’t possess the extra money to spend on furniture. Instead, they’ll hoard a lot of second-hand furniture even when it’s not too practical because they don’t determine they’ll be able to afford it down the road,” said social worker Angela Lui Yi-shan, who runs the project with human rights advocacy group Society for Community Organisation.
The HK$3 million home modification project, sponsored from the South China Morning Post since 2013, provides around 120 low-income families with custom-made furniture, such as desks, shelves and storage cupboards, and also give their property a mini-makeover by rearranging their living space.
Prior to the modification, Yan’s apartment barely had any walking space when folding tables were set up for lunch or homework.
A three-seater sofa which doubled like a bed for Yan’s elderly mother had blocked half the corridor that triggered the kitchen and bathroom.
A sizable desk with little storage area took up most of the family room, while the floor was cluttered with multiple plastic boxes piled on the top of the other.
Hong Kong’s poorest squeezed as rents for tiny subdivided flats rise at double rate for other homes
They of architects rearranged the present furniture and designed the investigation desk as well as two new shelving units to suit Yan’s living room.
By utilising our prime ceilings in old tenement houses, Yan’s family could utilize floor-to-ceiling storage as an alternative to having storage boxes take up limited floor space.
With the average four-year wait around for public housing and ever-increasing rents in the private sector, many residents who live below the poverty line have to tolerate cramped 47dexlpky squalid living problems that range between cage homes to coffin cubicles.
Almost 200,000 people lived in some 88,000 subdivided units in 2015, according to official figures.
The Society for Community Organisation’s project concentrates on families with education needs, in the hope that providing a passionate working space can help children focus better on the studies and ultimately offer the family a chance to escape poverty.
“Most from the children we work with lie on a lawn or bed to perform their homework, and it’s not beneficial to their own health or development, but this project will help change that,” Lui said.
DOMAT, the not-for-profit architecture firm that designs the Dining table Hong Kong, visits each family individually and makes things to suit your family and the peculiar layouts as a result of partitioned flats.
The furnishings, built with a contractor in mainland China, is made to be flexible so it can remain with your family when it moves into another subdivided flat or public housing.
“Based on their daily habits, we percieve how our designs can match the requirements. We would like to use furniture being a tool to improve their space, rather than just providing new furniture,” architect Maggie Ma said.
The company’s personal procedure for the project is yet another key good reason that the firm does not like working with developers.
“What I realised [in building high rises] is a lot of the process is controlled by market demand and what could bring in additional money,” Ma said.
“In an easy method, they sacrifice some the user’s needs, and then we wanted to search for designs that happen to be more humane. This project actually makes us understand more about how people live and what exactly is most essential to them.”
Although she was made to move out of her apartment into another subdivided flat right after the installation, Yan said the new furniture had transformed her home.
“When you initially move into a flat, you don’t really think a lot of regarding the furniture. Everything was fine provided that we had space to set our things. However, we could discover how practical Office chairs Hong Kong could be and exactly how it can make an improved living area,” she said.
Ma’s partner and fellow architect Mark Kingsley said: “It’s nothing like those Tv programs where you go to the home and they’ve totally transformed it into something totally different. The ambition from the project is much more modest – to help make small changes that may have a big effect on the family.”