A stubborn homeowner has been living on the roof of her dilapidated block of flats for over half a year in order to prevent government contractors from tearing the building down.

 

Zhang Pengfang, 47, has not come down from her perch since August 2016 when property developers employed by the government of Hefei, capital of East China’s Anhui Province, started demolition work on the five-storey building.

 

The woman’s family were among numerous others who used to live in the old residential tower, but each was bought out by the contractors, whose plan is to raze the area and convert it into a modern residential neighbourhood.

 

Zhang, however, claims the money offered as compensation was not satisfactory, and a few homeowners stayed behind to protest, even as surrounding buildings were knocked down one by one.

 

The last remaining building is known in China as a "nail house" because of the way it stands out in the empty plot surrounding it.

 

In August last year, when all the other families finally gave in and left the building, workers were ordered to begin demolishing the tower.

 

But Zhang stood her ground and moved to the building’s roof, where she has stayed ever since, in spite of the fact that there is no water or electricity.

 

She relies on her elderly father and mother, who live elsewhere, to fetch her food and water, which they tie to the end of a rope and which is then pulled up by Zhang.

 

She fears that as soon as she leaves the building, even for a minute, the workers will stop her from returning and knock what remains of the residential building down.

 

Zhang says she hopes the government workers will open up talks with her again and offer satisfactory compensation this time so she can end this stalemate.

AsiaWire
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Author: Lance Zhang

Lance Zhang is a reporter for Asia Wire

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