>> In Hong Kong where cost of living is sky high, rethinking what home looks like may help the city's least fortunate. This refashioned concrete water pipe is called an O pod. While it may seem small, this prototype is just one solution to make housing more affordable in a city where as Reuters' Pak Yiu reports, some sleep in extremely claustrophobic conditions.
>> The lack of land supply and the imbalance with high demand has caused property prices to shoot up the roof making it really unaffordable for the average person to buy a house. Families that I've spoken to have said that they just want a place to call home so that they could bring up their child or their children.
It's quite sad to see some of these people who have to be cramped into such a tight space. We're talking about spaces of about less than 100 square feet, less than ten square meters and essentially some of these caged homes, or coffin apartments are big enough just for one person to lie down with all of their belongings surrounding them.
>> However, whether it's containers or O pods, living in them is actually illegal. So far officials have tried taxes to fight the housing shortage with mixed results. Until recently they've been reluctant to allow pre-fab housing though there are signs that attitude may be changing.>> Recently, it was discovered that an NGO and a major developer in Hong Kong have been in talks about creating container houses.
And so the government has recently done a 180 and allowed shipping containers to be built early next year in 2018. But there are also other problems as well that have to be factored in. Hong Kong's climate is usually quite hot and humid, so unlike the UK and the Netherlands where shipping containers already exist, a lot of thought and a lot of research has to be put into making sure that these shipping containers are livable for everyone.
>> By one survey, Hong Kong has been ranked the least affordable city in the world for a few years running. The waiting list for public housing is now at a record high of up to 4.5 years.