For many of the richest people in Hong Kong, one of Asia's wealthiest cities, home is a mansion with an expansive view. But for thousands of the poorest, home is a metal cage with no hope for a view. (Feb. 7)
SOURCE - RESTRICTION/COURTESY - AP Television - AP Clients Only
Location - Date: HONG KONG - Various
AT 63-YEARS-OLD--THIS CHINESE GRANDMOTHER LIVES IN A 50-SQUARE-FOOT ROOM WITH HER 2 GRANDCHILDREN...SHE PAYS $450 A MONTH FOR THEM TO SHARE BUNK BEDS, EAT AND SLEEP IN A HOME...THAT IS BASICALLY A METAL CAGE.
IN THIS CASE -- IT IS ONE OF SEVEN CAGE HOMES CREATED BY SUBDIVIDING A SINGLE APARTMENT.
"I DON'T CARE IF I DIE," SHE SAYS...HER ONLY WORRY IS WHO WILL TAKE CARE OF HER GRANDCHILDREN WHEN SHE'S GONE.
SOCIAL WELFARE GROUPS SAY ABOUT 100,000 PEOPLE IN THE FORMER BRITISH COLONY LIVE IN INADEQUATE HOUSING:
APARTMENTS SUBDIVIDED INTO TINY CUBICLES --
SOME FILLED WITH COFFIN-SIZED WOOD AND METAL CAGES --
AS WELL AS ROOFTOP SHACKS.
--THESE PEOPLE LIVE IN GRIM CONTRAST TO HONG KONG'S RENOWNED AFFLUENCE.
HOME PRICES ARE SKYROCKETING AND RENTS ARE FOLLOWING SUIT...HOME PRICES ROSE 23 PERCENT IN THE FIRST 10 MONTHS OF 2012 AND HAVE DOUBLED SINCE THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008.
PROTESTS AND PUBLIC RESENTMENT ARE GROWING.
(12. SOUNDBITE (English) Frederick Fung, Legislator:)
"When the living spaces are so congested, I think they would make people feel uneasy, desperate and also doesn't like the government."
THE GOVERNMENT CONTROLS ALL LAND FOR DEVELOPMENT...HONG KONG'S NEW CHIEF EXECUTIVE HAS VOWED TO TACKLE THE PROBLEM...HE UNVEILED PLANS TO BOOST SUPPLY OF PUBLIC HOUSING--WHICH STANDS AT ABOUT 15,000 UNITS...THERE ARE 210-THOUSAND PEOPLE ARE ON THE WAITING LIST.
SIGOUT - Name/Associated Press