Living in cages

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Square, caged home

For many of the richest people in Hong Kong home is a mansion with an expansive view from the heights of Victoria Peak. For some of the poorest, home is a metal cage. See gallery

In this Jan. 25 photo, 77-year-old Yeung Ying Biu sits partially inside the 16-square-foot cage which he calls home in Hong Kong. Some 100,000 people in the former British colony live in what the Society for Community Organization, a social welfare group, calls inadequate housing.

AP Photo: Vincent Yu
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Climbing into bed

Cheng Man Wai, 62, climbs up to the 16-square-foot cage he calls home in Hong Kong on Jan. 25.

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Cheng Man Wai lays in his cage. To keep bedbugs away, residents put thin pads, bamboo mats and even old linoleum on their cages' wooden planks instead of mattresses.

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A moment's break

Yeung Ying Biu, 77, eats next to his cage. The mesh cages, which resemble rabbit hutches, cost about $167 a month to rent.  

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Close with family

Lee Tat-fong, 63, walks in a corridor while her two grandchildren, Amy, 9, and Steven, 13, sit in their 50-square-foot room in Hong Kong. Lee, like many poor residents, has applied for public housing but faces years of waiting. Nearly three-quarters of 500 low-income families questioned in a recent survey by Oxfam Hong Kong had been on the list for more than four years without being offered an apartment.

AP Photo: Vincent Yu
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Inadequate living

Yeung Ying Biu sits inside his cage. Cage homes sprang up in the 1950s to cater mostly to single men coming in from mainland China.