Photographer Kin Cheung spent time recently photographing some of the tiny subdivided housing units in Hong Kong, known as “coffin homes,” and those who live in them. Cheung reports that there is a “dark side to the property boom in wealthy Hong Kong, where hundreds of thousands of people priced out of the market must live in partitioned apartments, ‘coffin homes’ and other inadequate housing.” These residents are among an estimated 200,000 people in Hong Kong living in such tiny subdivided units, some so small that a person cannot even fully stretch out their legs.
If you’ve ever lamented life in a cramped apartment, spare a thought for the dwellers of Hong Kong’s coffin homes. Skyrocketing rental prices have driven cash-strapped locals into tiny rooftop shacks, metal cages and coffin homes made of stacked wooden bunks. Images show the degrading conditions, such as combined toilet and kitchens shared by two-dozen people and bunk beds too small to stretch out their legs.
The United Nations has condemned the accommodation as ‘an insult to human dignity,’ but those priced out of the market are left with no alternative.