An estimated 100,000 people in Hong Kong live in cage homes, which are tiny wire mesh cubicles stacked on top of one another in confined, unsanitary conditions. These homes are often found on the top floors of industrial buildings or on the top levels of residential buildings, and they are frequently the sole cheap housing option for low-income residents.
Cage homes have existed in Hong Kong for decades, but they have come under more scrutiny in recent years as the city’s housing situation has deteriorated. The average monthly rent for a cage home is only $200 HKD (approximately $26 USD), but many tenants are forced to live in them because they cannot afford to live elsewhere.
Cage house living conditions are frequently awful, with little to no privacy or personal space. Residents must use public facilities and showers, and there is sometimes insufficient ventilation or natural light. These conditions can be dangerous to one’s health, and many people report feeling claustrophobic and nervous.
Despite the difficulties, many cage home occupants express gratitude for having a roof over their heads. With Hong Kong property prices at an all-time high, these individuals believe they have no choice but to live in these overcrowded and often unhygienic conditions.