Ideals and reality always have ambitions, no matter how inferior the subdivided unit is, no matter what is the worst of the inferior, there are still people who want to live. A resident of the rooftop house who experienced "forced eviction" 10 years ago said that it was not easy to find a new place to live because the rent outside was expensive at that time, and he was bent on staying at the rooftop house. He admits that the loft has a low ceiling and cannot be straightened in the house, and the indoor room is hot and baked during the day, and the living environment is of course poor, "but it is better to have tiles to cover your head than nothing."


It was the Hong Kong Association of Community Organisations (HKCAO) that assisted the rooftop tenants to seek help from the court and negotiate with the landlords, and the landlords eventually agreed to allow the tenants to continue living in the houses until they waited to go upstairs to the public housing. The deputy director of the Social Council, Shi Lishan, described it as having no choice but to make arrangements, "It's so sad and the environment is so bad, in fact, it shouldn't be a good place to live, it's really helpless, because there is no other choice."


Sze said that unless there is sufficient supply of public housing and other housing to give subdivided unit households a choice, it will be difficult to solve the subdivided unit problem, she added, if transitional housing and light public housing can go hand in hand, with about 5,<> temporary housing support, plus traditional public housing, it will have an impact, "If you do it, there may be half of the subdivided units in five years."


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The OC filed 11 households facing demolition and the rent of the rental property in the same district was twice as expensive

Ten years ago, the owners' corporation of a building in Sham Shui Po filed a petition for the demolition of all rooftop houses in the building, leaving 11 households and more than 20 residents facing demolition. Residents have approached the same district for rent, but the rent is twice as expensive as the original residence, and they cannot afford to relocate and do not know how to solve the problem.

Mr. Ou is one of the households, he said that when he heard the news, he was in a mess, but he knew that he would not move, and planned to live in the rooftop house all the time. At that time, it was not related to the local community (social association), we didn't want to leave, and we all had a part in the relationship, so it was normal."

Residents look back on the past: sue us and don't leave

Later, the HKSA helped them seek help from the court and negotiated with the landlord, who finally agreed to let them continue to live in the rooftop house until they waited to go upstairs to the public housing.

The upper floor is lived, the floor is not enough to make people straight, and the lower floor has a shared kitchen and toilet, Mr. Ou bluntly said that the living environment is poor, but the financial ability is limited, so he can only live. (Photo by Lu Yiming)

Walking around the low house on the floor always have to bow your head and bend over

Living in the loft of the rooftop house, the environment is not comfortable, the floor is low, and you always have to bow your head and bend down when you walk around the house.

Mr. Au also mentioned that even if the styrofoam board has been installed in the room to insulate the heat, all the windows are opened and the fan is turned on, the room is still hot and hot, "As soon as the sun comes out, it is hot until the day is 60 degrees Celsius, and everyone in the real family will steam you."

In order to cool down as soon as possible, Mr. Au used to put a plate of water in the house before going out to work, "When I return to the house at night, there is no heat, if I officially wait until he (Ge Tsai) is cool, it will take 10 o'clock, and there will be a plate of water at 7 o'clock."

I've been used to the harsh environment for a long time, and I haven't thought about moving away: I can't do it

He admitted that his financial ability is limited, and he has long been accustomed to living in a rooftop house for more than 30 years, "The environment is of course bad, you can't do it, you can't talk about it on the same side, unless the government compares you to the house, you will have to lean in, you have to live, you are greedy for rent."

Mr. Au has moved to another rooftop flat in recent years, and he no longer needs to bend his head when he returns home, and he and his family are also waiting for public housing, but they can no longer afford to rent a better place, let alone buy a house with the income of a part-time job.

In recent years, Mr. Au has moved to another rooftop flat and no longer has to bend over when he returns home. (Photo by Lu Yiming)

Ten years later, many residents have gone upstairs, and half of the rooftop houses have been demolished

The Social Security Association has been assisting these rooftop households in those years, seeking help from the court and negotiating with the owners. Eventually, the owner agreed to let the tenant stay upstairs. Ten years on, many residents have successfully moved upstairs, and half of the rooftop houses have been demolished. The deputy director of the Social Council, Shi Lishan, described it as an arrangement without a choice, "In fact, it is sad and the environment is so bad, in fact, it should not be good to live, it is really helpless, because there is no other choice."

Sze described the residents as having no choice: at least not the streets

She added that in those days, it was more difficult to wait for public housing than it is now, and there was no support such as transitional housing and rent subsidies, and the residents of rooftop houses also tried to rent outside in the face of forced eviction, but the rent was twice as expensive as the original residence, and they had no choice in disguise.

The Deputy Director of the Social Council, Ms Sze Lai-shan, believes that the forced eviction of the rooftop house reflects the coexistence of demolition and resettlement. (Photo by Lu Yiming)

The eviction incident 10 years ago just reflects the coexistence of demolition and resettlement

Sze Lishan believes that this incident of forced eviction of rooftop houses just reflects the coexistence of demolition and resettlement needs. She also reiterated the Bedspace Accommodation Ordinance implemented in the 90s, when the government only set up a few hundred shelters, and as a result, there were many illegal cage houses, "so unless you supply public housing, there are other housing supplies, and if they don't always tie up, they will go illegally."

The government intends to solve the problem of subdivided units, and Sze said that although she agrees that there should be no more cage houses, board houses and subdivided units in the future, she also reminded the government that resettlement must be done well, otherwise the problem of subdivided units will not change. She also suggested that priority should be given to cage houses, beds, subdivided units with a per capita living area of less than 5.5 metres, and inability to stand in the flat. More than <> units, no separate toilet and kitchen, fire safety, building structure, etc. should also be included in the minimum living standard.

If you cooperate, in fact, the residents are happy to hear it, but it will be resettled, because everyone will be resettled, and you must be resettled, and if you don't resettle after demolition, it will be a big deal. Shi Lishan, deputy director of the Social Association

Ms Sze said that if there were 5,<> temporary housing supporters, the number of subdivided units could be halved in five years

She said she believed the government was considering which subdivided units should be phased out on a priority basis, and pointed out that the question now was whether the transitional housing period could be extended. She believes that if transitional housing can be extended for five or ten years, in parallel with light public housing, with about 50,000 temporary housing support, plus traditional public housing, it will have an impact on the subdivided unit market, and it is expected that the number of subdivided units will be greatly reduced by then, "If you do it, there may be half the number of subdivided units in five years."

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