"Exploding property prices in Tai’an"
Over the last ten years, housing prices in the city of Tai’an have significantly risen, making it the third most expensive city in Shandong province in China. The central government of China’s Houses are for living, not speculative investment policy was adopted in 2018, followed by additional regulations introduced by local governments to control the housing prices. Although the housing prices in China’s major cities have decreased in the recent years, the prices in Tai’an remain very high, thus severely impacting on people’s lives.
I addressed this issue by researching a case of a family friend; a disabled man with two children who has been struggling with the lack of affordable housing for many years. The family lives in an illegally built, small bungalow adjacent to a landfill site and are perpetually at the risk of eviction and demolition by the government. They are dependent on collecting bottles from the landfill site as their only source of income, which doesn’t earn them even remotely enough money to save for a new house.
The short documentary film I made in response to this family’s situation aims to provide a context and a better understanding of the ongoing violent urbanization in Tai’an. The documentary was chosen as a preferred format since it can be an in-depth and informative resource that brings important topics to the table in a captivating way to spark a conversation. During the process of compiling, I had collected various types of information through different media, such as documentary photography, written records, drawings and interviews. The film juxtaposes the material filmed and gathered on site of the family’s home with the footage filmed in the wider context of the Tai’an city and its newly built neighbourhoods.