A photographer took ‘aerial’ photos of sub-divided flats to show us how people live in such confined spaces. It seems inhumane to live in such a small space but it is usually the only option available to people with low/no income. Sub-divided flats earn the owner a higher rent than if the flat was rented whole. In fact, rent psf of some sub-divided flats are as high as luxury flats.
Although HK has health and safety rules that all properties must comply with. These are regularly ignored and perhaps enforcement is lax, allowing unsafe conditions to continue. The 2010 To Kwa Wan collapsed building incident, raised the public’s awareness of sub-divided flats. That building was illegally sub-divided and the owner was in the midst of renovating the building when it collapsed. It is speculated that the collapse was due to unauthorised demolition work by the hired contractor. It was a brew of the worst possible factors: 55 year old building in state of disrepair, illegally sub-divided flats, which added stress on a run-down building and the use of a possibly unprofessional (and cheap) contractor, who removed support columns which were meant to hold up the building. On hindsight, all these factors and the loss of 4 lives were preventable if only the owner was not so greedy and a penny pincher.