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Suffering At Home, Residents of Hong Kong

http://www.4synapses.com/lifestyle/poor-hong-kong-living-horrific-conditions-stacked-cages/ -The Poor Of Hong Kong Are living In Horrific Conditions In Stacked Up CAGES


Hong Kong is one of the most economically free cities to live in. So why are there so many people complaining about residing here? To answer this, we need to understand how the housing crisis takes a toll on the resident’s mental health.


Space


Hong Kong has a population of 7.5 million people and is one of the densest cities on the planet. Space is a luxury which Hong Kong citizens don’t really have, whether it’s on the train, on the streets, and in our case, homes. In Hong Kong, the average amount of space per person in a home is 161 sq ft. To show you why this is considered extreme, take a look at this chart.



Place: Average Square foot Per Person: Average New Home Size:


Hong Kong: 161 sq ft 484 sq ft


Japan: 356 sq ft 818 sq ft


America: 832 sq ft 1,023 sq ft



From this chart, we make the stark revelation that the amount of floorspace for one person in America is almost double the size of an average new home in Hong Kong. Also, it is important to keep in mind most families in Hong Kong vary from 3-5 members in these households.

This leads to people feeling like they have no personal space. Imagine sharing everything with your family, bedrooms, bathrooms, everything. You would feel as though you weren’t breathing your own air, right? This is what most families in Hong Kong deal with. Not having enough personal space can cause tension within families, home will become a place you don’t want to be at.


Cost


The cost of a home is a nightmare in Hong Kong, even after all of the government’s efforts. Paying rent each month feels like a burden which stresses and causes financial disputes, mainly between spouses. Hong Kong is one of the most expensive places to live in, buying and owning a house is something that takes years to accomplish.

One of the main problems in Hong Kong is the disparity between the rich and poor. This issue is especially apparent in the housing market. For lower income groups, renting is the only option and is usually the main expense. Since there are not enough homes with affordable pricing, some people end up in inhumane housing, namely cage homes.

Cage homes are exactly what they sound like, they are wired 16 sq ft cages with only enough room for a bed and some personal belongings. According to allthatisinteresting.com, Cage homes go for about $1,000 - $ 1,500 HKD per month which if calculated by cost per square foot makes them more expensive than the poshest apartments in Hong Kong. How can you feel safe in one of these?


Mental Health


So how does it all tie together? One of the most basic human needs is to have shelter, or in other words a home. Your quality of life is greatly affected by your environment. A good home environment means you have enough space, cleanliness, safety, and a good level of comfort. The lack of space in Hong Kong creates stress and paranoia which adds to the burden of finding a place at all.

A personal friend of mine pointed out that public housing and subdivided flats also cause parents to worry about the strangers they call neighbors. People living in these types of housing are usually in and out of jobs, sometimes they end up doing illegal work to make a living. This can cause residents living in these homes to be on guard at all times, looking over their shoulders for any signs of danger. Some parents who live in these environments become worried for their family’s safety and take drastic measures to ensure it.

There are housing issues in Hong Kong which devoid it’s citizens of privacy. Privacy is something we all need; alone time for us to gather ourselves to be in a good headspace. Whether we know it or not, we need to be alone sometimes. We all need time to sing into a hairbrush and let loose without the fear of being watched. Without this sense of privacy, we tend to push people away, longing for an hour or two to just be by ourselves. This creates tension within families and arguments starting from seemingly nothing erupts. It may not seem that big of a deal, but privacy is important and something hard to come by in Hong Kong.

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