5-speed listening (Living Space - Level 3)

Hong Kong's poor live in homes smaller than prison cells



Medium (British English)

Medium (N. American English)



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A new study shows that some poor people in Hong Kong live in tiny homes. Residents from a housing alliance found that 204 families in their area live in homes that are smaller than prison cells. The families live in the Kwai Chung area of Hong Kong. The average living space per person was just 4.6 square meters. This is roughly the size of three toilet cubicles, or about half the size of a car parking space. The average size of a prison cell for Hong Kong's maximum security prisoners is about 50 per cent bigger than the size of the Kwai Chung homes. A 2016 government report stated that over 65 per cent of Hong Kong families live in homes that range between 7 and 14 square meters.

Hong Kong has one of the world's most expensive housing markets. Britain's 'Guardian' newspaper said an average resident would have to save for more than 18 years in order to pay for a tiny home. A member of the Kwai Chung housing alliance told reporters about how unhappy people are about living in such a small home. He said: "It is completely unacceptable and inhumane that the living area for people is the same as for prisoners in such a prosperous city like Hong Kong." Another resident said she could only afford a tiny room for her husband and six-year-old son. The room has a bunk bed, a closet and a small folding table. She said: "The bathroom is so small we have to sit sideways to go to the toilet."

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