Terrifying, first-person photos show the claustrophobic conditions inside Hong Kong's 'coffin cubicles'

Shot 44728rBenny LamSome of these homes are as little as 4’X6′

Hong Kong is in the midst of a housing crisis. As prices begin to rise and the city grows denser, some have resorted to living in the smallest of spaces.

Since 2012, photographer Benny Lam has been documenting the housing situation in Hong Kong by focusing his camera on what have become known as “coffin homes” or “coffin cubicles.” Some of these homes are as small as 20 square feet, and most have no windows. Diseases can easily spread among the more than 200,000 people that live in the tight quarters of these homes.

With help from the Society for Community Organisation, which fights for human rights in Hong Kong, Lam has been able to exhibit his work and help spread the word about these dangerous living conditions. See some of this photos below.

Lam's series is titled 'Trapped.'

Benny Lam

His work was recently recognised by Prix Pictet, a photography award that highlights work documenting environmental sustainability issues.

Benny Lam

Hong Kong does not have much land that is suitable for development, and the city is getting denser.

Benny Lam

These spaces can only fit one person, which has forced some families to separate.

Benny Lam

These spaces are not hygienic.

Benny Lam

'Due to the limited space, bronchitis is quite common. Some sub-divided units are built without windows, so the air flow is not good for health,' Gordon Chick Kui Wai, a community organiser at the Society for Community Organisation, told Business Insider.

Benny Lam

Some tenants must climb ladders to get into their small homes.

Benny Lam

Source: Business Insider

Rent typically starts around $180 a month.

Benny Lam

Source: Business Insider

Communal bathrooms are available to tenants.

Benny Lam

Source: Business Insider

According to the South China Morning Post, bed bug infestations happen frequently.

Benny Lam

Source: South China Morning Post

There is very little ventilation in many of these cubicles.

Benny Lam

These small homes have become alternatives for recent college graduates and for the elderly who may be on a tight budget.

Benny Lam

For some of the unemployed elderly, this type of home is their only option.

Benny Lam

Hong Kong has announced plans to build more affordable homes over the next decade, adding 280,000 public homes and 180,000 private homes by 2027.

Benny Lam

Source: Business Insider

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