Clinic Nurse: The Rent of Subdivided Units keeps Raising
She straightens her waist and back, curls herself on the corner of her bed, making her bed. Subdivided unit is a kind of unique apartments for rent in Hong Kong. It can be usually seen in tenement buildings or old buildings. Simply speaking, the owner will divid an apartment into several units for rent. Those units for rent are subdivided units. Yan Yan, who has been a clinic nurse for several years, has moved to this subdivided unit located in Wong Tai Sin for around three years already. Expensive rent trades only a crowded space dissatisfied her.
It all started with the Thought of Owning A Private Space
Yan Yan recalls that originally, she lives with her family of six inside a three-person public housing unit in Hung Cheuk Lau, Kwan Tong. The space of the unit is difficult to accommodate six person. “I have to finish my homework curl up at the edge of the bed”, she says. In addition, it is hard for the whole family sitting in the living room to watch television programs comfortably because it is too crowded.
In her secondary school days, she envies some of her classmates have their own space, and hopes that one day she is going to have her own room. She shares the room with her sister before she moves into subdivided unit. A wooden board separates their room. “It is similar to the hospital beds nowadays. There is no space between our bed.” From that time, her desire of owning her individual space becomes stronger and stronger.
If the Rent is Reduced, her days are Brightened
“I hope the rent does not rise every year, and cheaper.” She says dispiritedly. She expresses dully that the rent is around $4,600 per month nowadays, while her salary is $14,000. She keeps complaining that it is not worth to pay $4000 to $5000 for this unit without 100 feet every month. Looking around the house, the rice cooker is just beside her single bed, and the bathroom is just around the rice cooker. There is even no space for stretching inside the bathroom. Cooking, bathing and sleeping can only be finished inside this under 100 feet unit.
She has to pay her family living expenses, water and electricity expenses, and other expenditures after moving out. She sighs that it is hard to save money in Hong Kong where rent is expensive and prices are soaring. At this point, her deep eyes squints like heavy curtains, as if a deep night sky, hard to see the next sun rise. She wants to escape the tiny cage she has been living with her family of six, replacing with a wider private space. Who could have thought what she is trapped in now is a bigger cage? Rent is the obstacle she can hardly surmount in her life.
Bad hygiene & Danger
Yan Yan thinks that there are serious hygienic issue in subdivided units. “There are always cockroaches no matter how you clean your home.” She says. She remembers she sees one or two cockroaches crawling on the wall in the middle of the night for several times. She cannot bare them and kill them. However, she is scared of insects since she is small, she is too scare to treat their corpses. Therefore, she kicks them into the bottom of the bed. Furthermore, it is usual to see cockroaches in subdivided units. Since there are no cleaners cleaning the building of subdivided units, therefore there are always rubbish piles up at the staircase.
There are once that one of the tenants forgets to lock the front gate at the building she lives. Then, a guy tries to break the lock. Fortunately, at last all tenants are safe and sound. Yan Yan is still lingering fear when she thinks of this accident.
To Know More
The owners want to earn more, therefore they separate the rooms into smaller and smaller space while the rent keeps raising every year. Indirectly speaking, the living area of young people keeps shrinking. Moreover, it is difficult for them to save money and buy their own property. According to HKET, the rent of a 200 feet subdivided unit located in Western District has reached $8,500 per month by July, 2018.