How to beat Hong Kong’s housing crisis
The week's news at a glance.
Anne PetrieThe Standard
Hong Kongers are taking to the seas, said Anne Petrie in the Hong Kong Standard. With apartment rents on Asias most crowded island soaring, families are increasingly opting for houseboat living. Certain bays have become villages unto themselves. In Discovery Bay, for example, about a hundred families are bobbing about, mostly on smallish boats moored in various spots. Some of the boats are connected to each other by narrow bridges; others float freely. The only way to get to the mainland is to take a water taxi. Of course, with so much open sea and sky, everyday comings and goings are on public display. So if you want privacy, this might not be for you. A bigger deterrent: the sewage disposal systemor lack of it. If you live on a houseboat, youre supposed to have a storage tank for sewage so it can be pumped out of the harbor. But springing for such an expense would defeat the purpose of cheap living afloat, so most people dont bother. Still, thousands of boat dwellers think the stench and the lack of privacy are a fair trade. In Hong Kong, peace and tranquility are hard to come by.