Old flats get own toilet, kitchen

The Hongkou government has launched a massive campaign to upgrade older apartments, giving them private facilities and more space.
Ti Gong

Before and after of the Xingfucun

Three 1950s apartment blocks in the Xingfucun, or Happiness Village Community, on Siping Road in Hongkou have been renovated to give each household a private kitchen and toilet and an extra 10 square meters of space.

Residents from the 144 households have gradually moved back into their new homes, marking the completion of the six year project.

"Eight households once shared a kitchen and four families shared a toilet previously," said resident Wu Zhiming. Residents has to line up to use the shared toilets especially in the morning, Wu said. They also had to take bath in their bedroom since there are no specialized bathroom.

The buildings had also aged, illegal structures had been erected and items piled up in public areas, posing a fire hazard.

The district housing authority along with the Ouyang Road Subdistrict and Hongfang Group launched the renovation campaign in 2012. The project was fully government funded, so residents did not have to pay.

Professional designers redesigned the buildings. The inner structures were almost totally rebuilt.

The Hongkou government launched an massive renovation campaign in old residential neighborhoods in 2013. Several buildings, mainly on Xinshi Road S. and Dalian Road W. have been renovated.

The experience from the Happiness Village project will be applied to the renovation projects for the remaining old residential buildings in Hongkou, which should be completed by 2020, to ensure each household have separate toilet and kitchen, according to the district government.

Special Reports