Homeless in Hong Kong - On the rooftops!



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. 

	Thoughts? 



Pat







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