Starting Points

Portrait of the second social housing community of Taiwan

Artist residence, documentary, 29 minutes,2019


At the end of 2017, the first social housing unit of the city of Taichung was built. In Taiwan as a whole, social housing comprises just 0.08% of the housing stock. Compared with other advanced countries, this figure is significantly low.

Together with the first residents, documentary filmmaker Floor Hofman moved into the second social housing unit of Taichung a few weeks after its opening. While living there for four months, Floor talked with residents about how social housing changed their lives.

This film brings the audience to a remote industrial area at the edge of Taichung, where the freshly painted social housing flat is located. Surrounded by factories and mountains the flat is a “Starting Point” for different groups of people.

Residents are coping with their new environment. Some start learning to live independently for the first time in their lives and encourage themselves to remain positive in this difficult time. Others feel reborn by leaving behind family structures and are excited to give shape to their new life full of freedom. 

People in the neighbourhood become acquainted with the concept of social housing and meet their new neighbours. The  government struggles with the strong stigma attached to social housing and the lack of government-owned land to build on. 

Starting Points aims to weave complex social and personal situations into a quiet and patient narrative.

Screened at

Copenhagen Architecture Festival x Film, Denmark
Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival Guangzhou, China
URBAN VISIONS. Beyond the Ideal City Filmfestival Bologna, Italy
ArchFilmFestival Lund, Sweden
Venice Architecture Film Festival, Venice, Italy
Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam, The Netherlands
DOCFEED Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Film stills 

Premiere for inhabitants who participated
October 6, 2019

Presentation of project to Taichung City Government 
October 13, 2019

Documentary and drawings created by residents in the process of making the documentary, Dali Social Housing, October 6 - October 13

This residency was part of the project Small Talk by Happen Social Design 

Project Designer: Willie Wong
Special Thanks to: NTIO
Photos by DUO photography 
Floor Hofman
Maastricht and Eindhoven, The Netherlands / Taipei and Tainan, Taiwan