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Monday, October 3, 2016, 22:14

Experts slam cramped subdivided HK flats

By Dara Wang
Experts slam cramped subdivided HK flats
The presence of PM2.5 in such subdivided units is almost a few times higher than the maximum level recommended by World Health Organization. (Parker Zheng / China Daily)

Experts and groups concerned called for improvement in people’s living conditions in Hong Kong – particularly in regard to cramped subdivided flats.

In observing World Habitat Day on Monday, Chairman of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects Vincent Ng Wing-shun suggested raising the maximum room height from 3.5 to 3.7 meters to increase the livability of subdivided units.

Ng said by adopting a bottom-up design, higher subdivided units could help enhance the living conditions of the households.

Yip Ngai-ming, professor from the Public Policy Department of City University of Hong Kong, said more preferential government policies should be made available for young singles who seek public rental housing.

By Yip’s estimate, young singles have to wait at least until they are in their 40s to be allocated a public house.

According to research by the Urban Research Group of City University, some 87,600 households are living in 25,200 subdivided units, two-thirds of which measure only 7 to 13 square meters.

The tenants in 28 percent of subdivided unit households are under 25, Yip noted.

At a photo exhibition also unveiled on Monday showing life in tiny subdivided flats, Director of the Society for Community Organization Ho Hei-wah said the government should focus on a medium-term plan to increase the housing supply, such as by redeveloping abandoned factories or schools into residential buildings.

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