The Chinese Alternative to Home Ownership

In this article the author describes the Chinese practice of assigning individuals apartments which are little more than shells. He claims that the act of customizing the shell creates a sense of ownership similar to that of homeowners in the U.S.

From article by A.P. Hurd at Metropolis Magazine:

"In Hong Kong ... thirty percent of the population lives in government subsidized housing– "Housing Estates"– as they are called. These units are rented out as bare shells. The apartments are essentially concrete boxes with only a skim coat of plaster."

Hurd believes that by allowing renters to customize their interior spaces it gives them a sense of ownership and discourages them from moving frequently (he claims that it is common for 50-75% of U.S. renters to move after one year). Frequent moves, in her opinion, prohibit these renters from becoming aligned with the success of their communities.

Full Story: Selling Shells

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