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Humans In Cages: Hong Kong's Shoebox Housing

There are about 200,000 people living in Hong Kong in what the government calls "inadequate housing," including cubicle apartments and cage homes -- wire mesh hutches stacked on top of each other.

Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying took power in 2012 with a pledge to make housing more affordable, but since then both home prices and the waiting list for public housing have jumped by a third, stoking calls for him to step down.

Moving the city underground, creating man-made islands and sea reclamation are among the options proposed by the government to increase available land. Hong Kong's 6,800 hectares of reclaimed land -- about 6 percent of its territory -- already houses 1.9 million people.

A woman and her son in their 5.6-square-meter subdivided flat in Hong Kong, which has a monthly rent of $487
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A woman and her son in their 5.6-square-meter subdivided flat in Hong Kong, which has a monthly rent of $487

A Hong Kong "cage" home, which rents for $230 per month
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A Hong Kong "cage" home, which rents for $230 per month

Lee Oi Lin, a 56-year-old woman, poses in her 4.1-square-meter subdivided flat inside an industrial building in Hong Kong. (2012 photo)
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Lee Oi Lin, a 56-year-old woman, poses in her 4.1-square-meter subdivided flat inside an industrial building in Hong Kong. (2012 photo)

Michelle Wong, a single mother, plays with her 2-year-old daughter in the bedroom of their 8-square-meter subdivided flat in a district of Hong Kong. (2012 photo)
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Michelle Wong, a single mother, plays with her 2-year-old daughter in the bedroom of their 8-square-meter subdivided flat in a district of Hong Kong. (2012 photo)

Thirty-seven-year-old Li Rong poses in her 3.2-square-meter subdivided flat inside an industrial building in Hong Kong. (2012 photo)
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Thirty-seven-year-old Li Rong poses in her 3.2-square-meter subdivided flat inside an industrial building in Hong Kong. (2012 photo)

A woman sits inside her 2.2-square-meter "cubicle" home in this 2009 photo.
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A woman sits inside her 2.2-square-meter "cubicle" home in this 2009 photo.

A Hong Kong cubicle home
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A Hong Kong cubicle home

Wong Chun-sing, 91, posed inside his "cubicle" home in Hong Kong in 2009. 
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Wong Chun-sing, 91, posed inside his "cubicle" home in Hong Kong in 2009. 

A resident poses in one of Hong Kong's "cage homes" in 2009.
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A resident poses in one of Hong Kong's "cage homes" in 2009.

A Hong Kong "cage" home
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A Hong Kong "cage" home

A man burns incense while sitting in a "cage home" in Hong Kong's Tai Kok Tsui district in 2008.
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A man burns incense while sitting in a "cage home" in Hong Kong's Tai Kok Tsui district in 2008.

Ng, a 60-year-old man, leaves a communal toilet near his 5.6-square-meter subdivided flat inside an industrial building in Hong Kong. (2012 photo)
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Ng, a 60-year-old man, leaves a communal toilet near his 5.6-square-meter subdivided flat inside an industrial building in Hong Kong. (2012 photo)

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