China’s Nail Houses
After not agreeing to the terms the government offered them, they are now living in the streets — in a house in the middle of a highway, literally.
Baogen Luo and his wife are now living in an apartment that stands in the middle of a highway in Zhejiang, China.
The apartment complex has been demolished, but a part was been spared for the couple. China’s laws states that it is illegal to demolish a property unless both parties reach an agreement.
The government offered Mr. Luo 260,000 RMB (US$41,573) and two small building sites as compensation. Luo said that it was not enough, considering what they already had spent in renovating their apartment.
They continue to live there with electricity and water. What bothers Mr. Luo is the traffic when the road finally opens. Another is that their property is now more vulnerable to robbers.
“Nail house” is a Chinese neologism for a home belonging to someone (sometimes called a “stubborn nail”) who refuses to make room for development. The term, a pun coined by developers, refers to nails that are stuck in wood and thus cannot be pounded down with a hammer.
There have been many other nail houses in China throughout the years. Here are some of them: