The cages are made of wire mesh, reports the Associated Press, and packed into cheap apartments on the bad side of the Kowloon neighborhood. They are stacked on top of one another to maximize the number of cages that can be accommodated.
The poor can pay as much as $167 per month to live in the squalid cages. They pack their belongings into about 16 square feet and sleep there as well. To keep away bedbugs they place bamboo mats or linoleum at the bottom instead of a mattress.
While Hong Kong is famous as a wealthy city, over 100,000 of its inhabitants live in what is called “inadequate housing.” In addition to metal cages, others are crammed into cubicles or even sleep in wooden coffin-like boxes in overcramped apartments.
China-backed Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying acknowledges that the high cost of housing is forcing the poor into terrible living arrangements. In a speech in January, he said he planned to increase the supply of public housing.