Apartment blocks in Hong Kong, China, East Asia.The real estate market in Hong Kong is flying high. High home prices is forcing Hong Kong dwellers to live in “coffin” houses says a news report by Reuters. Coffin house are the apartments with a low ceiling and small floor space.

Hong Kong has a population of more than seven million. Due to high population density and high demand of homes, property market in Hong Kong is flowering. Since 2012, residential properties price has risen by more than 50 percent. Hong Kong Property market is one of the world’s most expensive markets and it is unaffordable to most of the locals. Since the locals cannot pay high price for homes, the developers are designing small flats with a low ceiling and floor area of 20 sq ft.

One of the locals who cannot afford to rent or own a proper home is Wong Ziwa, who lives in a low-ceilinged, 20 sq ft home. Wong has been living in “coffin” home for more than 20 years. Currently, he is paying 226 USD (S$321) every month as rent. He has of course submitted an application for public housing, however, until now he has not heard anything. 

“I applied for public housing two years ago,” he says, “but I have not heard anything from the government, I don’t know how long do I have to wait to get accommodation in public housing?”

Interestingly, the Hong Kong authorities have ambition housing project in pipeline. The Hong Kong Government is planning to construct 460 thousand flats in the next 10 years. On the other side, Singapore has a new executive condominium, the Sol Acres @Choa Chu Kang which is furnished with state-of -art facilities and a dependable investment for family. 

Sze Lai Shan is Hong Kong based social worker. She believes the government must come up with short-term plans to address the “coffin” home problem. “People are living in a very small place, with simple setup,” she says. “In these homes people cannot even stretch their bodies properly. They are living in a tight space, and this is creating psychological problems.

The government data states that about 200 thousand people are living in very small homes. Contrarily, Sze believes the government data is too low.