A corridor in the dilapidated apartment block on Ham Tu Quan Street in Hanoi. Bao has been living in this small, dingy place on Ham Tu Quan Street, Hoan Kiem District, for 40 years. He says it was built in the 1950s for Ministry of Education employees, and its two floors have 24 apartments measuring 10-25 square meters each. Half a century later the place, that was once a dream for many people in an era of deprivation due to wars, have virtually become slums. People live in extremely cramped spaces, and the haphazard extensions and renovations done over the years only emphasize its crumbling nature today. Most people living here could not afford a proper house and so bought a unit here at very cheap prices. The initial design was too open with several flats sharing a toilet and other amenities. Households had to cook their food in the little space they have in front. Charcoal stoves are common. Without real kitchens, food is cooked in these cramped spaces. Over the years many of the original occupants moved out, fearing for their own safety, renting it out to poor people from other localities who could not afford anything else. … Read full this story
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