baishizhou update

As rumors of demolition become more substantial, the implications of how it will directly impact individual lives is being felt. On June 30 / July 1, several landlords (most likely sub-letter landlords) demanded that because of immanent demolition, renters in Xintang and Shangbaishi would have to move out by September. These notices were unofficial, in that they did not carry the seal of the city government. Nevertheless, they have induced panic because the time directly impacts schooling.

There are seven kindergartens, seven elementary schools, and three middle/high schools in the area. This is a high density of schools and children who live in Baishizhou attend one. This is where things get complicated: Shenzhen schools finalize enrollment in May. This means that even if families move during the summer, they will probably have to move to a part of the city with a lower concentration of schools, where it will be highly unlikely that they will find a seat. At the same time, many families have started to look for housing in the immediate area (outside suspected demolition lines), where options are few and prices are going up.

In response, there is an unofficial effort to get figures on how many children and families will be impacted by the demolition. But. It’s also unclear when the demolitions are coming (because notices not ratified by the government). Maybe this is a first attempt to pressure landlords who haven’t signed off on the compensation package? That said, the rumors and the fear are real. The children are preparing for end of semester exams.


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