A series of photos capturing the lives of a number of families in Hong Kong who live in incredibly cramped “snail houses” have gone viral ahead of Chinese New Year.
In order to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, many Hong Kong residents are making plans to travel elsewhere for Spring Festival. But for those living on financial support from the government, a vacation outside the territory is impossible.
In our title photo, 41-year-old single mother Chen and her 11-year-old son live in an apartment only 10-square-meters in size. She pays HK$ 1,700 (about $220) each month for the privilege.
In Sham Shui Po District, Zhuang lives in a subdivided cubicle measuring only 1.8-square-meters in size. He covers the HK$ 1,640 ($ 210) rent with social security payments from the government.
63-year-old A Xiong lives in a 4.5-square-meter room with a monthly payment of HK$ 1,500 ($200).
Tan and her daughter have lived in a 20-square-meter apartment for six years. She paid only HK$2,000 when she moved in but now pays HK$4,000. Tan told reporters that although she receives no welfare payments, she prefers to rely on herself because she has the ability to work.
According to a report issued by the SAR government last year, 24.5 thousand apartments built over 25 years ago contain 86.4 thousand of these subdivided cubicles, with the average resident having only 17-square-meters to live in.
By Lucy Liu
[Images via Xinhua]