No space, no problem: Photo of fridge atop washer in cramped flat captures a very Hong Kong reality

The viral photo shows a two-door refrigerator stacked on top of a washing machine in a unit in Fai Ming Estate, Fanling. Photo: Hong Kong public housing estate discussion forum
The viral photo shows a two-door refrigerator stacked on top of a washing machine in a unit in Fai Ming Estate, Fanling. Photo: Hong Kong public housing estate discussion forum

Hong Kong’s notoriously small apartment sizes can really force residents to get creative.

Just ask this man behind this viral photo, which shows a refrigerator stacked on top of a washing machine in what appears to be a very cramped kitchen.

“Hoping the refrigerator won’t fall and crush me,” he wrote in a forum for discussions on housing in Hong Kong.

According to man’s profile on the forum, he had just moved into Fai Ming Estate in Fanling, a public housing estate that was completed in 2019. (Tenants were meant to take occupancy last year, but the estate was vandalized by anti-government protesters upon news that it may be used as a COVID-19 quarantine facility.)

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The photo quickly made the rounds on Facebook, with some netizens joking that he was “playing Tetris” with his kitchen appliances. Others wondered how he would be able to reach the top shelf of the refrigerator, or use the sink given the narrow space between it and the washing machine.

The resident would need to stand at an angle to use the sink, netizens remarked. Photo: Hong Kong public housing estate discussion forum
The resident would need to stand at an angle to use the sink, netizens remarked. Photo: Hong Kong public housing estate discussion forum

According to the Housing Authority, Fai Ming Estate consists of two blocks and has about 950 units. The flats range from 151 square feet to 403 square feet.

In response to Hong Kong’s pressing housing crisis, the government in 2014 set a target of building 280,000 public housing flats by 2027. The city’s leaders have since admitted that it would fail to meet the target by around 67,000 units.

As of December 2020, about 153,900 general applications were in the queue for public rental housing. The average waiting time has risen to 5.7 years, a record high.

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CITY: HONG KONGCATEGORY: NEWSSUB-CATEGORIES: VIRAL

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