Holiday banquets in new-old apartments

An old apartment building in Hongkou District has been demolished and rebuilt in a trial to improve living conditions in buildings which are too badly run down.

An old apartment building in Hongkou District has been demolished and rebuilt in a trial to improve living conditions in buildings which are too badly run down to be worth renovating.

A six-story apartment building has replaced the former two-story structure, a former dormitory building which accommodated 38 households at 2612 Songhuajiang Road.

The residents who lived in cramped apartments of about 16 square meters each, with shared kitchens and bathrooms, have now moved into their new homes.

Let there be light

“My new apartment looks amazing. It even has a south-facing balcony,” said Lu Dianfang. Lu previously lived in one small north-facing room with her husband and her son. For decades she hardly saw the sun.

Lu used to share a kitchen and toilet with eight other households, but now she has private facilities in her new apartment.

Hongkou began tearing down old buildings and replacing them with modern apartment buildings in 2015.

Each household is entitled to 10 square meters of additional space, along with a private balcony, separate kitchen and a modern bathroom.

The new building now has 56 apartments.

The additional apartments have been reserved to accommodate residents being moved out for other renovation projects in Hongkou.

Finding true happiness

Hongkou launched its unprecedented renovation campaign in 2013.

Since then, several buildings, mainly on Xinshi Road S. and Dalian Road W. have been renovated, while others have been demolished and rebuilt.

Three 1950s apartment blocks in the Xingfucun community, or Happiness Village, on Siping Road for instance, have been renovated to give each household an home almost unimaginably superior their former residences with kitchens, bathrooms and more space.

Residents from the 144 households have now almost all moved into their new homes, marking the completion of the six-year project.

The experience from these projects will be applied to the remaining dilapidated residential buildings in Hongkou, with all work scheduled to be completed by 2020.

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