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Shipping Container Homes A Viable Temporary Housing For Those Waiting for Public Housing

As the queue for public flats grow longer, a local federation of non-government organizations in Hong Kong has urged the construction of homes built out of shipping containers as temporary housing.

The Hong Kong Council of Social Service, which represents at least 400 NGOs in the city’s social welfare sector, added that the temporary housing estates composed of converted shipping containers can be built on abandoned car parks or even under flyovers.

Each house, which measures close to 200 sq feet, is insulated and equipped with its own bathroom, open kitchen, windows and an air-conditioning unit.

The idea is borrowed from the initiative in Amsterdam, the Netherlands which provides temporary housing for students for more than a decade. The Dutch builder, Tempohousing, has built thousands of such shipping container homes which are said to be portable, stackable and can withstand adverse weather conditions, according to the company’s claims in its website.

With the way the government’s pace in addressing the housing issue, there needs to be more ideas that should be floated.

“At a time when land supply is scarce, we need innovative thinking,” the council’s chief executive Chua Hoi-Wai said during an RTHK programme on Tuesday. “We can’t just rely on the government and wait for it to build public housing.”

A unit of the converted shipping container would cost HK$190,000 to buy and build and only take up to nine months to complete.

As of June 2016, there were at least 288,300 applications for public housing, and the average waiting period for families is at least four years.

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