Established in 2000, we began alleviating housing poverty in China by operating in Yunnan province in 2002 and opened offices in neighbouring Guangdong and Guangxi provinces in 2004.
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Based on a government report in 2020, 1.4 million people in Hong Kong were living below the poverty line. The city also has the second highest number of billionaires in the world, according to Forbes. For the eleventh year running, Hong Kong is the world’s least affordable housing market based on the 2020 Demographia study.
Government figures in December 2020 showed about 99,000 families in Hong Kong were living in cramped, subdivided residential units known as “coffin homes.”
Habitat Hong Kong’s flagship home renovation program focuses primarily on supporting vulnerable families living in substandard living conditions by providing essential maintenance services.
Volunteers work alongside licensed contractors to repair and renovate the homes of low-income households including older people, single parents and people with disabilities. These vulnerable families predominantly live in public rental housing and in 2020, we began serving families in subdivided units through an extensive home hygiene kit distribution service. Deep cleaning services have also been included in response to local communities’ needs for improved hygiene at home.
How We Help Alleviate Housing Poverty In China
Our local team works with local partners and the government in mostly rural areas to build simple, decent homes with…
Our local team works with local partners and the government in mostly rural areas to build simple, decent homes with the help of international volunteers. Low-income families often lack adequate access to clean water and safe sanitation.
Habitat homes are typically made of more durable materials such as bricks and include proper sanitation facilities.
The homes rebuilt after the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan included single detached, row houses, townhouses and apartment buildings. We also constructed classrooms in Sichuan and community infrastructure in Yunnan, Guangdong and Guangxi.
In Shanghai, corporate volunteers helped to renovate homes and improve safety for low-income elderly people.
Alleviating Rural Poverty In China
The first Habitat projects in China supported vulnerable groups such as low-income rural families in Yunnan and people affected by leprosy in Guangxi. We also improve the infrastructure of communities where possible.
Some of our community projects in Yunnan, Guangdong and Guangxi included construction of retaining walls to protect against landslides, the building of community centres and improving roads, and installation of sewage systems.
Mobilising Corporate Support
In 2010, we launched the Shanghai Age-Friendly Housing Project with local partners to improve the living condition of low-income elderly people. With the help of corporate volunteer teams, we renovated homes with a focus on improving personal safety by installing handrails in bathrooms, laying anti-slip flooring and other work to ensure barrier-free access at home.
Sichuan province is the location of one of our largest rebuilding efforts in China following the destructive earthquake in May 2008. About 1,400 houses were rebuilt in 10 affected villages in partnership with the local government. Habitat also hosted the China leg of the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project 2009 with nearly 200 international and local volunteers working on multi-story apartment units in Qionglai city, Sichuan.
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