Down a Saigon alley, tiny houses and big families

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Multigenerational families share small spaces where even a bathroom is an unthinkable luxury

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Seven people in this family share a two-square-meter house in an alley on Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, Ho Chi Minh City. There’s only enough space for a bunk bed and none for a kitchen or a bathroom. 
The bed is so short this man has to rest his legs up. 
Phan Thi Hoang, 62, sleeps on the sidewalk to save space for her children and grandchildren.  
Hoang said she was born and grew up in that house. She keeps many of the family’s things outside. 
Next to Hoang’s is another tiny house where an old couple has been living for more than 20 years. 
 Kha Tu Ngoc, 62, puts everything on the shelves. There’s barely enough space for her and her husband to lie down. Ngoc said her parents left her the house.
She sets up a kitchen outside the door and uses a public bathroom. Ngoc works as a cleaner at a small eatery nearby and her 74-year-old husband is a xe om motorbike taxi driver. They do not have children. 
This house of 2.4 square meters is the home of Nguyen Thi Dung and her three children. They hang almost everything up and add a garret for more space. 
Dung and her daughter (pictured) sleep in the attic and her two sons have the floor, where they also eat and watch TV. 
Dung said her great grandfather first lived in the house and it was passed down in the family.
You can find the original Vietnamese story here on Zing.

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