The government has suggested that the Sham Shui Po Yen Chow Street Hawker Bazaar, one of the last fabric bazaars left in the city, should move to Tung Chow Street, following its notice to hawkers to quit the current site to make way for public housing.

Yen Chow Hawker Bazaar
Yen Chow Hawker Bazaar. Messages urging for preservation of the market are written on the outside.

The government says that space will be made available at the Tung Chow Street Temporary Market, where the hawkers will be able to rent pitches at about HK$500-2000 per month.

The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) gave notice to the hawkers at the market abruptly in August, saying that the government is planning on redeveloping the area into housing. The announcement met with strong resistance from hawkers and activists.

Yen Chow Street Hawker Bazaar

Currently there are around 20 licensed hawkers and 30 unlicensed hawkers operating at the bazaar. Only licensed hawkers will receive compensation, and only if they choose not to relocate to Tung Chow Street.

Speaking to Apple Daily, hawkers raised concerns regarding the new location, including that it is a spot frequented by homeless people, and is prone to flooding.

Yen Chow Street Hawker Bazaar

It is unknown when the hawkers will have to relocate, but local media suggest it is likely to be around June this year.

According to Inmedia, this is the second time the market has had to move in its seventy-year old history. It moved to its current Yen Chow Street address during the construction of the MTR in the 1970s.

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.