Big family shares tiny house in Ho Chi Minh City

By Quynh Tran   December 8, 2016 | 10:38 am GMT+7

A couple raises three kids on three square meters of land in Saigon's District 8.

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Nguyen Phi Vu and his wife Pham Thi Kim Ngan rent a three-square-meter house next to Chanh Hung Bridge in District 8. They make a living repairing motorbikes and a selling drinks on the sidewalk.

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The family makes a dinner of take-out purchased from a nearby vendor after deciding it's too hot to cook indoors.

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The family has occupied their home for seven years; they now pay VND3 million ($132) a month in rent.

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The ladder to their small attic provides vital shelf space, as do the walls.

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The couple’s eldest daughter is 11 and must now curl her legs to sleep. They have a 9-year old boy and another daughter, aged 4.

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The small attic gets hot and humid due to its low roof.

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The ladder is so steep the children have tumbled down it several times. “Luckily they come away with minor scratches,” the mother said.

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The family does all their cooking on the sidewalk. Chopsticks, spoons and a cutting board hang on the bathroom door.

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Every night, the couple carefully ties up all their properties outside, including two motorbikes.

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The couple used to live in an alley. But their bike repair business brings in better money on the street, where a bigger house would cost a lot more money. “We are worried that it will be much more difficult to continue living here when the children grow up,” the mother said.

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