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Forum Post: Chinese Citizens Pay Rent to live in Cages - Wall Street doesn't mind as long as they can continue to exploit the workers

Posted 5 years ago on June 7, 2012, 8:27 p.m. EST by elf3 (3892)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement


Hong Kong, China (CNN) -- If you have ever complained that your apartment is the size of a shoebox, consider the living space of Hong Kong resident Chung For Lau. Chung lives in a 625 square foot (58.06 square meter) flat here with 18 strangers. The place is sectioned into tiny cubicles made of wooden planks and wire mesh. Everything he has acquired over the years -- clothes, dishes, figurines, a tired TV set -- is squeezed into this tiny cube, a modernized version of what is known here as a cage home. With all the buzz over Hong Kong's exorbitant luxury property (like the recent record-breaking sale of a $57 million duplex), it may be hard to believe that people have been living in cage homes in this city for years. But with Hong Kong home to some of the most densley-populated urban districts in the world, real estate has always come at a premium, no matter how small. Chung's cage is a newer yet less-desirable model, we are told. The wire mesh one, which resembles an over-sized rabbit hutch, is apparently more comfortable. Occupants have less privacy, but the temperatures don't get as high as in the wooden-mesh variety. A thermometer in Chung's home reached 34 degrees Celsius (93 degrees Fahrenheit). Sometimes it gets so hot, Chung said, that he wants to die. Chung used to be a security guard. In the good old days he earned about $500 (HK$3,875) per month. But as the economic crisis set in, his full time job went to part time work until he was laid off this past summer. As he stared into his bank passbook, Chung lamented that he wouldn't be able to make the $150 rent (HK$1,160) this month -- these cubes aren't cheap. They are stacked on two levels -- $100 (HK$775) for a cube on the upper deck and $150 for the lower bunk. The lower cubes are more expensive because you can just barely stand upright in them. Do the math and the apartment owner is collecting roughly $2,500 a month (HK$19,375) from these people. The 19 occupants share two toilets. A small rubber hose attached to a leaky faucet is what they use to wash themselves. Social workers who monitor the apartments said the electricity is donated, so a few of them have TVs. One person on the upper deck has an aquarium. One social workers said that because of the recession these homes are being occupied more frequently by those made jobless -- people in their 30s and 40s. The social worker said none of the younger people wanted to speak on camera for fear their chances of finding work would be hurt. Chung, 67, is now waiting for welfare to kick in and is on a long list for public housing. The government says it is doing its best to meet its citizens' needs, but Chung says he has lost all hope. Economic recovery or not, he feels forgotten.



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[-] 3 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 5 years ago

You know who else doesnt mind- the bottom line thinking comsumers of the good ol USA.

Wall st can do whatever they want. If we didnt buy it, it wouldnt matter.

[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 5 years ago

I've seen cage homes in Hong Kong and "tube" apartments in Tokyo.

Might be more important to focus upon the homeless millions in the US of A, and the bulldozing of usable housing by the banksters, to prevent people from squatting in quite satisfactory housing.

[-] 1 points by alexrai (851) 5 years ago

The only number wall street cares about is the one on the bottom of the income statement called "net income."

Which is exactly why every corporate CEO in the world only cares about net income...

I'd love to see a government with some balls who would slap taxes on companies who exploit child labor and ruin the environment...

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 5 years ago