Ask Hong Kong to Improve Housing for the Poor

Target: Leung Chun-ying, Chief Executive of Hong Kong

Goal: Ask the Hong Kong government to improve housing conditions for the poor.

Hong Kong, a former British colony, is one of the wealthiest urban cities in China. Housing prices rose 23% in early 2012 and more than doubled since 2008. 100,000 of Hong Kong’s poor are forced to live in a wide range of inadequate housing that includes: apartments divided by wire cages, rooftop shacks and coffin sized wood and metal sleeping compartments. Sign the petition to ask the Hong Kong government to improve housing conditions for the poor.

There is increasing public anger over the poor housing conditions. Hong Kong is a city of 7.1 million, of which 1.19 million live in poverty. A third of the population lives in public rental flats with half requiring government subsidies. The government and wealthy property developers control all land development, driving prices up through speculation. 210,000 people are on waiting lists for public rental flats.

The housing shortage has forced 100,000 people to live in substandard housing. In the working class district of West Kowloon, workers cram together in shared apartments divided by wire meshes. Up to a dozen workers may share a single room apartment, their living and sleeping spaces divided by wire mesh cages that are 16 square feet in size. Each worker pays $167 a month in rent. The conditions are extremely unsanitary: the apartments swarm with bedbugs and rodents so the workers do not use mattresses. Instead they pad their cages with linoleum and thin pads. The cramped conditions encourage the spread of diseases among the workers; many have coughs and other respiratory illnesses.

The poor conditions and high price of housing have caused resentment among the population. The Beijing backed chief executive promised to improve the supply of housing but so far has failed to deliver. Sign the petition to ask the Hong Kong government to improve the housing conditions of the poor.


Dear Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying,

I am writing as a human rights activist to ask you to implement promised changes to improve the condition of housing for the poor in Hong Kong. The plight of many citizens is grim.

Leung Cho-yin provides a good case study. He lives on $515 of government assistance each month because he is disabled; after paying rent for his wire cage he is left with a mere $11.60 a day to survive. He has no wife or family and expects to be forced to live in a cage for the rest of his life. He shares the dilapidated apartment with several other elderly men who are in the same position as him.

Public housing has failed to provide a solution. Families have been kept on the waiting list for as long as 4 years. Lee Tat-fong is one of the people who applied but has not received a flat yet. She is forced to raise her 13-year-old grandson and 9-year-old granddaughter by herself in a 50 square foot room. The children are often hungry because after rent she has little left over for living expenses. The Hong Kong government must take action to improve the affordability and conditions of housing for the poor.

I hope you consider my thoughts.


[Your Name Here]

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44 Signatures

  • Ana Maria Mainhardt Carpes
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