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Inside Hong Kong’s cage homes

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When houses are the size of parking spaces. Follow Johnny on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/johnnywharris/ Follow the Vox Borders watch page: https://www.facebook.com/VoxBorders/ Sign up for the Borders newsletter: http://www.vox.com/borders-email With original music by Tom Fox: https://m.soundcloud.com/user-416166523 Hong Kong is the most expensive housing market in the world. It has been ranked as the least affordable housing market on Earth for eight years in a row, and the price per square foot seems to be only going up. The inflated prices are forcing Hongkongers to squeeze into unconventionally small spaces that can affect their quality of life. Tens of thousands of Hongkongers are living in spaces that range from 75 to 140 square feet. To put that in perspective, the average parking space in the US is about 150 square feet. And in the most extreme cases, Hongkongers have resorted to homes the size of a coffin. I spent some time exploring the living situation in Hong Kong to find out why housing has become so expensive and spaces so tight. To understand how Hong Kong’s housing market turned out this way and see how it’s affecting people’s lives, watch the final episode of Borders Hong Kong. Subscribe to our channel! http://goo.gl/0bsAjO Vox Borders is an international documentary series by Emmy-nominated producer Johnny Harris exploring life at the edge of nations. For more, visit vox.com/borders. Check out our full video catalog: http://goo.gl/IZONyE Follow Vox on Twitter: http://goo.gl/XFrZ5H Or on Facebook: http://goo.gl/U2g06o
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Text Comments (13268)
Vox (3 months ago)
Cage homes are just one fascinating product of Hong Kong's unique composition and history. For more check out the full Vox Borders Hong Kong playlist here: http://bit.ly/2OIuyUb
LadyKatie (4 days ago)
Good reporting. Seems it's time to bust up monarchy's!
Nadia Chua Goy (5 days ago)
Thanks, Vox! really love your videos <3
KEIGAN McD (8 days ago)
This dude literally explained how the government owns all the land then in the next breath said it's a "free market"
David Clapperton (20 days ago)
How many floors are there in these blocks of flats? 50+, 60+, 100+?
Krikor Lewis (21 days ago)
They still have more belongings than me! lol
- Kandy Soufax - (1 hour ago)
Why don’t more of them buy a van and live out of that. Its prolly more space
MikeGlasses (3 hours ago)
This wasnt even about cage homes. Its about chinas land. F*** you!
MikeGlasses (3 hours ago)
Why is this 9 minutes long. Theres so much dead space where you dont say anything. This video could be 5 minutes at most
Deacon Ho (3 hours ago)
5:48 Dude, you crossed a red light!
Deacon Ho (3 hours ago)
When you don’t even live in Hong Kong and visited cage homes but I live in Hong Kong but never visited any xox
Deacon Ho (3 hours ago)
Yes, every apartment is freaking expensive here xox.
nonenunina (8 hours ago)
So, isn't it just a simple supply and demand matter? They have lack supply of residential, so the price went up so high. And what made them have lack of supply because of bad land usage or zonation, because less than 4% land used for residential. Solution: make more zone for housing to give residential supply.
Iamnot Arussianbot (10 hours ago)
There are prison cells better than that.
Chen China (11 hours ago)
All the thumbs down must be from HK government bureaucrats ordered to do so by their department chiefs...
twood226 (12 hours ago)
Looks like the size of cruise cabins! They actually choose to put wire around there area to protect there belongings
Be kind (12 hours ago)
Thank you God for all my blessings even when I’m sad and don’t feel love. Please forgive me for not appreciating the things I have. Amen 🙏
Ethan ToTheMax (13 hours ago)
We’re living in cages but at least we have low taxes
Thurfrof Thurfrof (15 hours ago)
Isn’t that called prison
Racing Pigeons (17 hours ago)
pure evil, who ever is responsible for this needs to die
Racing Pigeons (17 hours ago)
Robert Diulus (23 hours ago)
There are to many humans
Jan Peterson (23 hours ago)
Has it gotten worse since turn over to China or about the same as when GB had it? Or has it become worse since more come to Hong Kong?
Cole Heaton (1 day ago)
I’d like to point out, this is not all true. 48% of Hong Kong residents live in public housing. They pay based off of their income, and it’s really not all that bad. Yes there is things wrong with public housing, but this makes it sound like it does not exist ALSO, they act like there is no taxes in Hong Kong and they have no money. They have a SURPLUS of money, they were actually just handing it out to their residents recently.
unguidedone (1 day ago)
its not a "drone" but a quadcopter wow this is nothing but mass stupidity
dontlike2 (1 day ago)
To put things into perspective, the amount that guy spends on rent for his literal bedroom would cover a months rent for a newish 3 bedroom house in the outer suburbs of Melbourne. That's crazy.
kurwitz (1 day ago)
Id prefer sleeping at the streets man..more space
Glitcher2000 (1 day ago)
One day I'll move to a cage home so I can stretch my legs.
murphacus (1 day ago)
Prisoners have better conditions. Ask Paul Manafort
Stephanie Mays (1 day ago)
Lux Voltaire (1 day ago)
Thank you for metric figures.
nuala sophie (1 day ago)
lmao i love living in hk
Agenda 21. Coming to your city...soon!!
Alexander Samson (1 day ago)
Trying to understand why they don’t revolt in masses. A situation like this would be a valid reason for some kind of serious Yellow Vests movement and yet all of them are going to work every day to just return to their 2 by 1 metre of doom to live their lives in, like obedient machines. It is not that they don’t know better, since the internet probably widens their view. I simply don’t understand that they do not organize themselves and revolt the hell out of this city and the vultures on the top of this all. I don’t get it and I probably never will. It is sad.
Angel Grace (1 day ago)
It is all about money and profit plus rich pushing tbe people out so they can preserved their dissolution status of high class 😕 sick goverment.
shayne kim (1 day ago)
I appreciate my country now hehe
Gene Green (1 day ago)
I guess they don't do suicide in Hong Kong very much!
PCthesecond (1 day ago)
It’s more expensive to live in than anywhere else in the world, if I had a penny every time I heard that about London New York San Francisco Paris I could afford to live in one of them my self :p
Kale (1 day ago)
No, the government policy is correct! thats is not a isolated island, its China. There are billions of people there and they can easily migrate. Result would be the same after 10 years, plus you loss all the green (and more). Stop repeating open/free market thing everywhere.
Willy The Warper (1 day ago)
At least there are TREES in Hong Kong to help air pollution up there, unlike China.
Komborero Moyo (10 hours ago)
Hong Kong is China buddy. Also I see you've never been to the mainland
neha vijay (1 day ago)
Drone shots were raw ash
Vincent de Guard (2 days ago)
defo the capsule ...cage is dreadful ...saying that i'd prob try spend as much time as possible out ...parks, beaches, museums, malls, library ...otherwise "cabin-fever" might set-in!
Michael (2 days ago)
I would not be able to live there, this is what I call a concrete jungle. No connection with the nature, I'd kill myself.
BuzzWaib (2 days ago)
What language they're speaking ?
Bob 1 (2 days ago)
I actually really love this "small space living" thing if done properly. Just caging off an area and having normal size furniture doesn't work but if you have a small space that is really well designed with moving walls, multi use furniture and transformative furniture etc it can really be workable. I'd love to be a designer for these small spaces to be liveable. I have so many ideas that could make it really comfortable. At some point we are gonna all need to take up less space and I think these small spaces are really good for us in a sense that we only keep what we really need or love. We don't fill big houses with junk we barely use and we love what we keep and it also makes you want to get out in the world and spend time outdoors with other people which a lot of people are not doing nowadays. You're also living close to people so are more likely to strike up friendships/relationships with people. It is also good for using less resources (electricity and gas) and if there's a shared cooking area (I'd prefer most cooking to be possible in your own space as well) you could save money by sharing food and cooking for friends and neighbours. We really need to get back a sense of community and sharing and I think this could be a way of kinda forcing it but I truly believe it can be an amazing way to live as well. My perfect home would be a small canal boat designed in a perfect way to use the space right for me. That's the way it will work, to tailor make the design for each person/persons. You mention "a whole lot of green space" and yes there is but that's needed. We can't just pave paradise and put up a parking lot.
el che (2 days ago)
Total Recoil (2 days ago)
Government corruption again
Lil Gat (2 days ago)
The land zoning policies which state where land can be build is purposely kept low because it raises the value of the property. It's an insulting business practice.
Frankie (2 days ago)
damn almost $300 for that little space
Supp Ladions (2 days ago)
Communist dictatorship Not surprisingly
Florian S (2 days ago)
I think the main problem is the huge difference between rich and poor. small houses are just the result of that... if everybody would live in these small houses, nobody would complain (I did it for more than 1 year and also lived in slums- and u can live there, it's not impossible... there are also old and happy people!). the real problem is that some people are more than 1.000.000 times more worth than these people and we think the rich people is the "normal" state. But, how can that be? it's just the system we are in and as long as it continues, it will get worse. the only solution is: - take value from the super rich and give it to the poor. the solution what will happen and nearly always has happened yet: - poor people will kill each other or just die in situations like this, when there is not enough resources for them.
Hoki (2 days ago)
Free up more land, lower the rent on that new land, tax the people who live on that new land. The people would pay the same, except more of their rent money would go to the gov't directly and they'd get more space.
Bombiss_ (2 days ago)
Living in an extremely expensive home that’s like 100 square feet
So its like San Francisco except in SF they dont even let them build the cage homes so the homeless end up outside sleeping on the street.... theyre excuse is they cant let people build houses because they wont be safe enough so they end up sleeping on the street which has to be worse... san francisco is a racist elitist leftist communist two faced joker city where a bunch of leftist white people and minorities who think they are white make sure no one can build anything
James Fehr (2 days ago)
Poverty isn't a trend.
JL BREMER (2 days ago)
How is this legal?? How is there not any health code and building code violations here...? Geez..
DigiWaffle (3 days ago)
Pretty much the cheap, old style british university halls. Only real difference is you get a sink.
Robert Henderson (3 days ago)
The jewish banksters have had their claws in asia too i see
Gastyz (3 days ago)
Housing is a worldwide problem, and it's pretty much the same picture everywhere: rich people buy all the properties as investments, to rent or sell in a future for double or more the original value. And for decades, we always considered investing in houses/lots/apartments a safe bet with almost zero risk of losing money. That's not, by any means, a sustainable paradigm. Let me be clear, I'm not socialist nor communist and I believe in the free market, however in this particular case, governments should impose restrictions regarding how many properties can someone have, say 3, 4 or 5, and that's it. If you have a lot of money then you should invest in a company, in the stock market, fund a new business or startup, whatever generating something for the society, and not hording land and housing to exploit one of the basic human needs.
George Knight S. (3 days ago)
That guy thinks he got a great idea for his people, he invited a freaking living microwave ridiculous! Oh it has WiFi all positive ions to distroy you even faster and keep you dumb. More and more people are living like this crampt up even in most apt in New York they just don't advertise it. with the extreme high rent prices the greed of most rich people they rather you live in a freaking box while they live in luxury. Rich and miserable elites it's just too bad nothing is taken when they die. One thing is for sure they will all face the Creator and will be judged in the end.
Kyra Bell (3 days ago)
I would pitch a tent in the woods, save up all my money, then move the hell outta there
Claire P (3 days ago)
My family lives in Hong Kong and there somewhat rich because they get the latest tech and stuff but they have a small apartment not as small as the one in the video but a bit bigger
Yo TENGO (3 days ago)
My Hong Kong friend is Rich.. But is he really?!!?
William Fritzon (3 days ago)
this is America in a few years, god i love living in a country like sweden. Taxes are the fabric of a long-term prosperous country for the majority
Pio Teki (3 days ago)
who would wanna live there yuck
Jennifer Carroll (3 days ago)
I’m just here to leave this comment
ace girl (3 days ago)
can someone tell me why HongKonger hate li ka shing and lee shau kee tell me
冯睿翀 (3 days ago)
Anyway,feng shui is very very important in Hong Kong(also in China mainland)and that is the reason why there is still a lot of space in Hong Kong that doesn’t develop.
Name your channel (4 days ago)
The fact that San Francisco is not on that list seems absurd
Jake Ogden (4 days ago)
This is what communism /socialism does
Novie Acosta (4 days ago)
But ain’t there a A banded island Going to be in the community I saw a video on YouTube long time ago I don’t know remember if i going to be in the community I saw a video on YouTube long time ago I don’t know remember if it had to do with China or another race
level (4 days ago)
a real solution? ask cortez or bernie sander
Square feet...
Cecil (4 days ago)
Awful country
SteelLennY (4 days ago)
Reporter is definately socialist
Herculean Bleu (4 days ago)
I would rather have a roof over my head then live homeless. May be expensive but 🤷‍♀️
american eagle9001 (4 days ago)
Who are you guys going to falsely copy right strike next?
Charmae Caroro (4 days ago)
$200+ you can own a big apartment here in PH.
RandomNess 423 (4 days ago)
but we need lot's of green space
Michael Swanson (4 days ago)
WOW. I saw images in the Deep Web showing these cage houses as cages for kidnapped homeless organ donation. I feel stupid.
Nicholas Maietta (4 days ago)
I'm moving into my van soon. Now my van looks very large by comparison. 4x the space.
Maria G (4 days ago)
Why live there? Move.
the village idiot (4 days ago)
Humans ruin everything !
Rob Bravo (4 days ago)
china has a huge land but people living in cages ,lol
S11001 1001 (4 days ago)
I lived on Figeroa and Mawles in NY city. We think back to that little room.
marko cynamon (4 days ago)
So what ? They are cozy, dry and comfortable... So many Americans are building tiny homes..... this is desirable in America
Cassandra (4 days ago)
One short circuit from disaster. Plz, leave the green areas alone. It is the human beings who should stop having kids.
Double Colt45s (4 days ago)
Fucken British.
President NotSure (4 days ago)
Price gouging shouldn't be just illegal during hurricanes. Foreign companies can come in, buy up high populated properties then drastically altering the economic health of the area. Sucking it dry. This needs to be regulated in a way that can benefit both property owners and residents. Right now.
LadyKatie (4 days ago)
Can't imagine why! Most of the people working are enslaved by capitalists. Yea duh.
n0rt0nRS (4 days ago)
ok that's enough, we need to reset society
mudshark jones (4 days ago)
there are people in prison that have a better living space than this
The Youngwolf (4 days ago)
6:10 So basically you’re saying that their government decided to make their own money to spend on the people instead of taking from years working people
Rico (4 days ago)
Living in river bank shacks in Jakarta suddenly feel 10x better
Austin Venable (5 days ago)
Just raise minimum wage
Rebels r We (5 days ago)
Toilet in the kitchen and 12 people every 100sq feet. One sneeze and thousands die
sick Boy4life (5 days ago)
So what your saying is that the government leases land so big companies can do anything with it and bc there is really no taxes the only way u really get money if u charge high prices for house but people cant afford it so family's have to share apartments but they can barely afford still bc u keep raising the price
cheifbobo (5 days ago)
Sounds like ohio. The prices of renting is going up. But our pay is not
Taunter Atwill (5 days ago)
It's not just communist areas where the individual doesn't count. . . . . . .right?
Ian Warburton (5 days ago)
Sounds more like they need to put the interests of the people above the interests of the government rather than above the interests of the market. Why does the government need billions for 7.3 million people?!
Daniel Diniz (5 days ago)
capitalism at it's best, folks. chinese-style, but still capitalism.
Rita Cho (5 days ago)
Omg got so claustrophobic!!! And I used to work in airplanes!!!
Nick P (5 days ago)
Those capsules looked pretty nice idk what he was talking about
Cassandra (4 days ago)
udk. Period.
MorraShow (5 days ago)
What great made video. Thank you sir.
onetimepeace (5 days ago)
At least at knowloon city wall you were free, though dirty you were free.

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