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Fri Jul 03 01:08:34 SAST 2015

Hong Kong poor living in cages and cubicles

Sapa-AP | 07 February, 2013 10:04
Public residential buildings are seen in Po Lam, one of the "satellite towns" in Hong Kong in this file picture taken, September 14, 2011.
Image by: BOBBY YIP / REUTERS

For many of the richest people in Hong Kong, one of Asia's wealthiest cities, home is a mansion on a hill. For some of the poorest, home is a metal cage.

A social welfare group estimates some 100 000 people in the former British colony live in what's known as inadequate housing. The category also includes apartments subdivided into tiny cubicles or filled with coffin-sized wood and metal sleeping compartments as well as rooftop shacks.

Skyrocketing housing prices have forced many poor to live in cramped, dirty and unsafe conditions. Their plight highlights one of the biggest headaches facing Hong Kong's unpopular Beijing-backed leader: growing public rage over the city's housing crisis.

The chief executive has promised to make it a priority to tackle the housing shortage.

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