Hong Kong SAR, China

9/F, V-Point, 18 Tang Lung Street
Causeway Bay

WebsiteA wireframe globe www.habitat.org.hk
PhoneA smartphone +852  2520-4000

Quick Facts

  • Individuals served in FY20: 546*
    * Through repairs
  • Volunteers engaged in FY20: 517

Other facts:

  • Population: 7.2 million
  • Life expectancy: 85.1 years
  • Unemployment rate: 5%
  • Population living below poverty line: 23.6%

Source: Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department

Habitat for Humanity in Hong Kong

Based on a government report in 2020, 1.4 million people in Hong Kong were living below the poverty line. The city also has the second highest number of billionaires in the world, according to Forbes. For the eleventh year running, Hong Kong is the world’s least affordable housing market based on the 2020 Demographia study. Government figures in December 2020 showed about 99,000 families in Hong Kong were living in cramped, subdivided residential units known as “coffin homes.”

Habitat for Humanity Hong Kong is dedicated to raising awareness and funds to meet the need for decent, affordable housing for families locally and across the Asia-Pacific region. Grants from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government Disaster Relief Fund have supported Habitat’s responses to 13 disasters regionally.

The housing need in Hong Kong

Hong Kong has ranked as the most expensive property market in the world for the past 13 years, according to the 19th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey: 2022. The housing ecosystem in Hong Kong is complex, with systemic inequities affecting both the formal and informal housing sectors. Housing has become the most prominent social issue in the city, with long waiting lists for public housing and over 200,000 people turning to informal, illegal and substandard alternatives such as cage homes and subdivided units. Nearly half of the population in Hong Kong lives in some form of public housing. According to the Housing Authority, as of end-March 2023, the average waiting time for public housing was 5.3 years, with over 230,300 applications.

How Habitat addresses the need in Hong Kong 

Public housing

We work with local nongovernmental organizations, social workers, volunteers, licensed contractors and local domestic workers to build hope in the community and improve the living conditions for people living in public housing. Our services include basic renovation, repairs, modifications, de-cluttering, deep cleaning, pest control and furniture installation.

Subdivided units

Over 200,000 people live in inadequate conditions in subdivided units. We are working with the University of Hong Kong’s Urban Ecologies Design Lab to make immediate improvements to 70-100 flats in 2023, such as installing new furniture and improving ventilation. We have also developed recommendations for landlords and the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, or HKSAR, on how living conditions can be improved by addressing issues of affordability, security of tenure, habitability and basic services, and accessibility.

Youth engagement

We engage volunteers to revitalize campuses of local primary and secondary schools in underserved districts, bringing the community together to paint murals and raise awareness of housing issues in the city. We also work with school clubs and campus chapters at international schools and universities to mobilise the next generation of changemakers.

Housing policy
We listen to impacted communities and amplify their voices, conduct research and advocate for a rights-based approach to the development of housing policies. We do this by bringing stakeholders together, submitting position papers to relevant bureaux of the HKSAR Government, and meeting directly with decision makers and influencers. Our goal is to contribute strategically and through a systems approach, to a more inclusive Hong Kong where everyone has access to adequate and affordable housing.

Stories and news

Counting her blessings

Meet Olivia Wong, long-time volunteer and newest member of Habitat for Humanity International’s board. She shares her views about leadership, volunteerism, faith and more.

Read more