Asia

China's 'nail houses': The homeowners who refused to budge

Updated 5:04 AM ET, Mon June 1, 2015
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A three-story house stands in the middle of a newly built road in China's Henan province on May 16, 2015. Construction was put to a halt as the owner refused to move because of a dispute about compensation. Like a nail that refuses to be hammered down, the dwelling is one of many "nail houses" that have sprung up in China as some homeowners resist development of their land or hold out for more money. According to construction workers, the owner is still living inside the house even though the rest of the road is complete. Imaginechina via AP Images
A house lies in the middle of a newly developed road in Nanning, Guangxi province on April 10, 2015. The owner was in a a dispute with the government over its demolition. Whitehotpix/ZUMA Wire
A half-demolished apartment building stands isolated in the middle of a newly-built road on November 22, 2012. Luo Baogen, 67, a duck farmer, and his 65-year-old wife refused to move out from their home in eastern China's Zhejiang province, waging a four-year long battle with the local government over a compensation plan. STR/AFP/Getty Images
Eventually Luo settled for compensation of $40,000, and his house was bulldozed on 1 December, 2012 according to Chinese authorities. STR/AFP/Getty Images
This picture taken on March 13, 2013 shows a worker looking out over a rubble-filled construction site where 75-year-old Yao Baohua's house still stands in Changzhou, a city in eastern China's Jiangsu province. PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images
The Yao home is the last one standing in the rubble of a vast development site. PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images
One of the most famous "nail houses" was a building in Chongqing, western China. The homeowner hung a banner and the national flag in protest and refused to sell to a developer who went ahead with construction around the site in 2007. China Photos/Getty Images
In this picture from March 22, 2007, the building sits on its own island of land surrounded by construction. It was eventually demolished in April 2007 when the owners came to a negotiated agreement after battling bulldozers from razing their home. China Photos/Getty Images
This picture taken on December 6, 2012 shows Chinese workers building around a grave on a 10 meter-high mound at a construction site in a village near Taiyuan, in north China's Shanxi province. STR/AFP/Getty Images
The owner of the grave and the construction consortium were in a dispute over compensation. The "nail grave" as it was referred to by Asian media outlets, became a symbol of resistance against land dispossession. STR/AFP/Getty Images
In a picture taken on June 6, 2010, Chinese farmer Yang Youde poses with a copy of China's Property Law on his farmland in front of his house on the outskirts of Wuhan, in central China's Hubei province. Yang uses improvised cannons, which are made out of a wheelbarrow, pipes and fire rockets, to defend his fields against property developers who want his land. STR/AFP/Getty Images