"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 100,000 households living in the sub-standard cagehome, cocklofts and cubicles. 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 12,000 street sleepers whose living condition is equally appalling.
SoCO has been taking care of these people for many years. Through social actions, we strive for their housing rights. We have succeeded in: shortening the waiting time for public housing applicants, improving the redevelopment compensation scheme for private housing, lifting of the restrictions imposed on main household who must live in Hong Kong for 7 or more years gaining a rental allowance for elderly, improving the services for streetsleepers etc.
SoCO will continue to strive for shortening the waiting time for public housing,
improving the rental allowance for households, reviewing the housing policy
for singletons and reviewing the public rental housing policy, to make Hong
Kong a better place for every one to live in.