Homeless in Hong Kong - On the rooftops!
- To: domesteading at bootstrap dot sculptors dot com
- Subject: Homeless in Hong Kong - On the rooftops!
- From: Patrick Salsbury <salsbury at sculptors dot com>
- Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2000 11:28:24 -0700
Just heard this a few minutes ago on the BBC.
Apparently, since Hong Kong is so restricted in space, they build *upwards*
rather than *outwards*. In times past, you could hurt your neck from looking
up at the skyscrapers so much, but a new proplem has arisen that could also
injure you: Debris falling from the tops of buildings where there are
encampments of homeless squatters.
There are now camps on top of many of the buildings. (A reporter was talking
from the roof of a 10 story building, and could see camps on all the others
that were lower, but there were also many higher buildings which she couldn't
see the tops of. Presumably also with camps on them.
They cited 2 different numbers from two different angencies estimating the
problem. One said there were about 20,000 housholds living in various huts on
the rooftops. Another estimated 800,000 (although they didn't specify whether
that was households or individuals.)
Very often, these will be somewhere between 100 and 200 sqyare feet of space,
and often for a family of roughly 6 people. They apparently pay money to the
building owners, which certainly seems like a free-market solution, but
apparently that's illegal, and the government and police have announced that
they're going to allocate 90 million Hong Kong dollars towards rooting out the
homeless shantytowns, and prosecuting the building owners.
They did not specify how much they were allocating to actually address the
homeless issues, provide new housing, etc.
Now, I personally thinking living on top of a skyscraper would be
cool. But I'd rather do it with an autonomous house, and have 7300 square feet
of space to play with. :-) I'm also fairly certain that sanitation is an issue
at the top of the buildings, as I'm pretty sure they don't build the tops of
the buildings with the latest in bathroom fixtures.
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