According to statistics, over 1 million people in Hong Kong, about 20% of the total population^, reside in substandard or dilapidated housing. Despite Hong Kong’s wealth and status as one of the most expensive cities in the world, a large portion of citizens suffer from poor living conditions.
There are several reasons for this bleak situation. First, Hong Kong faces a severe housing shortage and high costs. Rent and property prices have skyrocketed over the years while supply remains limited. The average living space per person is only about 110 square feet or living at the street.
Second, Hong Kong’s welfare system offers very limited resources to help the poor. There are long waiting lists for public housing and tenants often wait 5-10 years to get a unit. Financial aid for rent is extremely limited. Many slip through the cracks due to narrow eligibility criteria.
Third, income inequality is high in Hong Kong. While the rich inhabit luxurious homes, about 1.3 million or 20% live below the poverty line, struggling in run-down apartments or shanty towns. They have little choice but to inhabit dilapidated housing or shelters.
In conclusion, a severe shortage of public and affordable housing and high living costs have combined to produce a grim situation where a sizable portion of Hong Kong suffers poor living conditions. We should help those people suffering from poor living conditions. Together, we can transform torment into joy.
Know someone struggling with the budget for their home problem? Contact PapaCare. We support vulnerable groups to reach our home repair volunteers to get a home fix at no cost.