Font Size

- Aa +

Sun 22 Jan 2012 01:56 PM

Font Size

- Aa +

Life behind bars: struggle of Hong Kong’s 'caged' poor

Thousands of poor residents in Asian city forced to live in 15ft cubicles as property prices jump

Life behind bars: struggle of Hong Kong’s 'caged' poor
Hong Kong, one of the world's richest cities, has cast out tens of thousands of residents during its luxury property boom, forcing them to live in the most degrading conditions.\nAbove: 78 year old Leung Shu prepares to settle in for the evening beside his cage on the apartment floor which he now only shares with 4 other people. (All images are courtsey of Getty Images and the Daily Mail newspaper).
Life behind bars: struggle of Hong Kong’s 'caged' poor
Hong Kong's property prices having soared over the past year with urban redevelopment shrinking the supply of older, cheaper blocks. As a result, thousands of people, forced to vacate their premises, are still dwelling in 15-square-foot cubicles or cages. Above: 78 year old Tam Wing Dik lays in his cage dwelling in Hong Kong. Dik, suffering from mental illness, along with his fellow residents, has been given one month to evacuate the building, which has been sold to developers.
Life behind bars: struggle of Hong Kong’s 'caged' poor
An elderly resident climbs into his bunk bed, donated by the Society for Community Organization, as 78 years old Leung Shu (L) looks on. Approximately 1,000 or so men are still estimated to live in squalid and cramped conditions in old tenement flats as Hong Kong's yawning wealth gap widens. (Getty Images)
Life behind bars: struggle of Hong Kong’s 'caged' poor
Leung Shu has been suffering from chronic asthma, and has been forced to cease his rental of monthly medical equipment due to rising living costs. (Getty Images)
Life behind bars: struggle of Hong Kong’s 'caged' poor
Hong Kong is one of the world's most densely-packed metropolitan areas, with nearly 16,500 people living in every square mile.\n
Life behind bars: struggle of Hong Kong’s 'caged' poor
Unscrupulous landlords are charging around $200 a month for people to live in a cage, with 20 cages to a room, and up to three levels high.
Life behind bars: struggle of Hong Kong’s 'caged' poor
The lower cages are more expensive because you can almost stand inside them, but the conditions are equally bad. In other parts of the city, there are more Louis Vuitton shops than the number in Paris.
Life behind bars: struggle of Hong Kong’s 'caged' poor
Occupants must share toilets and washing basins. Many of the apartments have no kitchens, forcing residents to spend there small incomes on takeaways. (Getty Images)
Life behind bars: struggle of Hong Kong’s 'caged' poor
Clothes and valuables are seen on a cage dwelling. For decades, the cage homes have been a scandal in the city's property market, but continue to rise in number.\n(Getty Images)
Life behind bars: struggle of Hong Kong’s 'caged' poor
Cockroaches, wall lizards, lice and rats are common in the cages, and the temperatures are often just two or three degrees higher than outside. But the alternative is to live on the streets. (Getty Images)