Have you seen the interior of a rental flat before?
Can you guess how many rooms there are in a rental flat?
Do you know anyone who lives in a rental flat?
Working long hours, less free time
Parents in these families tirelessly work long hours or multiple jobs to try to break the poverty loop and give their children a better life. They are often unable to seek out better opportunities, like upskilling courses or job interviews due to the lack of time.
Maximising the space
There is little to no personal space in a 1-room flat. Furniture such as foldable mattresses can be put away to create more space in the flat during the daytime. Some families use curtains or pieces of furniture to give a sense of privacy.
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Among all the personal belongings, there is a lack of space to relax or study in a 1-room flat. Some children are unable to continue higher education, as the family cannot afford school fees and would need them to start working instead.
The generosity of donations
Some families do have items such as LCD televisions or laptops. These items are usually second-hand, and from various charity organisations. There are also government schemes that provide support, however, there are sometimes long waiting times before the families receive assistance.
Food insecurity
Families who experience food insecurity have to skip meals, or cannot afford fresh and nutritious food. Being hungry becomes a constant worry. This can lead to negative effects on both physical and mental health.
Access to basic needs
Families living in urban poverty may struggle to pay their utility bills each month and might have to live with limited water and electricity.
Poor Food Nutrition
Families who cannot afford fresh and nutritious food will often eat instant or canned food instead.

These 1-room flats are not as glamorous as “studio apartments” that we see in television shows and movies. Being only 35sqm, or less than half the size of a badminton court, there is no clear separation between the bedroom, living space and kitchen. The personal belongings of family members also take up space in the flat.