Reaching Out to SoCO

In my plan to visit a number of subdivided homes during my project, I reached out to Hong Kong local organisations Society for Community Organisation (SoCO) and Concern for Grassroots Livelihood to find out how I could access these homes or acquire the permissions to do so. Both organisations have worked to improv living conditions for tenants of subdivided flats in the past. Although I contacted both organisations in June, only SoCO has replied so far.

In the meantime, I explored a bit more about what SoCO’s work for subdivided flats includes. In this research I came across a project SoCO has worked on since 2013: the SoCO Home Modification project. “The focus of the project is to provide a better study space for their children, helping them to do well at school so that ultimately the family is not stuck in a poverty cycle.”

The project is located in Shum Shui Po, and aims to help 100 families. The architects and volunteers involved make use of the high ceilings to create vertical storage space. A key idea of the project is creating furniture for the tenant as opposed to the landlord, in order not to create any negative impact on the family by possibly encouraging the landlord to charge more rent.

In my project, I would like to use the vertical space to create more storage for the tenant, as well as installing transformative furniture that will belong to the tenant. I hope that I’ll be able to work with SoCO to visit the tenant families and use their furniture projects to improve my own ideas.