Housing Right

“The States Parties to present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions. The States Parties will take appropriate steps to ensure the international co-operation based on free consent.”

(extracted from Article 11 of ICESCR)

Although everyone wishes to live in an adequate housing with a satisfactory level of living standard, it seems that it is an impossible dream for more than 210,000 people currently living in inadequate housing in Hong Kong.


At present, there are about 200,000 households living in the sub-standard cagehome, cocklofts, cubicles, roof-top huts and sub-divided flats. The rents of these inadequate housing are very high, but the living space is very small and people living there have no privacy at all. Poor hygiene and loose security harm them physically and psychologically. What is more, they have to share the kitchen and toilet with other people and this has resulted in frequent rows that sometimes lead to blood shed. Joining these people are more than 2,000 street sleepers whose living condition is equally appalling.

Social Reality


  • 20,800 families live in temporary structures such as huts, squatters and rooftops
  • 5,600 families live in factory buildings and commercial buildings
  • 5,800 families live in partitioned apartments, bedspaces and lofts
  • More than 93,900 sub-divided units exist
  • 50,000 children living in inadequate housing
  • More than 200,000 underprivileged live in these unsuitable places…

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