About Housing in Place Project (HiP)
Housing in Place is a social impact project to research, design, and implement alternative affordable housing solutions and urgent community services. The project includes four components: HiP Community Space, HiP Demonstration Housing, HiP Home Improvement, and HiP Online Platform. Hong Kong has been declared the world’s most expensive property market for the 12th consecutive year, according to the 2022 Demographia International Housing Affordability report. More than 1.65 million people are living below the poverty line, and affordable housing is the city’s most urgent problem. Scarce land supply and current residential building developments are unable to meet the high demand for market affordable housing. The average waiting time for public housing has increased to an all-time high of six years and the city’s Transitional Housing Scheme is challenged by remote locations with poor public transportation and inadequate provisions of community spaces and social services. Housing in Place examines how thousands of vacant buildings in urban centres could be flexibly utilized on a yearly basis and renovated into quality housing spaces, provide crucial community spaces and social services, as well as improving the living conditions of existing extreme-density housing. Housing in Place is led by HKU Faculty of Architecture’s Urban Ecologies Design Lab (UEDL) in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity Hong Kong (Habitat), the multi-year social impact project is funded by the Bank of China (Hong Kong) and administrated by Hong Kong Council of Social Services.
About Urban Ecologies Design Lab (UEDL):
The Urban Ecologies Design Lab (UEDL) at the University of Hong Kong aims to explore socially and environmentally responsible design strategies for the contemporary city. Its mandate is to explore design in parallel with research in social science, arts and humanities and architectural history and theory. Through research and design projects, UEDL regularly collaborates with various stakeholders within the urbanisation process of Hong Kong and Shenzhen, including governmental institutions, community organisations, NGOs, and individual residents. UEDL has successfully collaborated with multiple local NGOs to conduct a series of social and community design projects ranging from Home Improvements for SDU residents to Cost-Sharing Flats for low-income families and ‘Friendship Homes’ for the working homeless. These projects also provided research, experiential learning, and community service experiences for hundreds of HKU students and faculty members.
About Habitat for Humanity Hong Kong
Driven by the vision that everyone deserves a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity began in 1976 as a grassroots effort. The housing organisation has since grown to become a leading global non-profit working in more than 70 countries. Habitat works locally in Hong Kong and across the Asia and Pacific region to help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Financial assistance and volunteers from Hong Kong have contributed to Habitat supporting more than 39 million people globally. Through shelter, we empower. Habitat for Humanity has been operating in Hong Kong since 2004, providing repairs, renovation, de-cluttering and deep cleaning services to low-income families, the elderly and people with disabilities living in substandard housing.
Ming Pao 社會實驗：借用時間與空間 空置廈改造應急居所
SCMP 南華早報 How an old empty Hong Kong building became a homeless shelter and could serve as the template to get more people off the streets