Housing

A man who built a wooden house on a London pavement has now been given a place to stay

And the council has now demolished the house, despite calls to put it in a museum as a symbol of the housing crisis.

London pavement house

Lukas has been put up in a hostel while the council tries to find him long-term accommodation

A homeless man who built an elaborate wooden house on a London pavement is now in emergency accommodation.

Tower Hamlets Council has put up former London Underground worker Lukas in a hostel while it tries to arrange long-term housing for him, and has knocked down the house.

Lukas’s intricate No 1 Bethnal Green Road, featuring a locking door, a fence, and fairy lights, attracted a wave of attention – and led to the council promising to offer him somewhere to stay.

wooden house, London
The house, made of wood, features a lockable front door and a fence. Image: Greg Barradale

And a Tower Hamlets Council spokesperson confirmed to The Big Issue today: “The person accepted our accommodation plan and now has a place to stay. 

“This is emergency accommodation and so our team is working with them to find a longer-term solution to address their housing need.”

The wooden house had stood for a week, constructed by Lukas as he faced “a choice between sleeping behind a bin or building myself a house.”

It was built from an old wardrobe, and was Lukas’s second attempt after the council knocked a previous version down.

Tower Hamlets has a 21,000-strong council house waiting list, and is the poorest borough in London.

Lukas said he had been blown away by the kindness of locals, who were bringing him water, food, and the parrot which sat atop the house.

“I just wanted to make it look good to people so that I don’t disturb people,” he said.

“People understand that I am just in a bad situation and just want to help.”

The Big Issue is committed to helping readers make it through the cost of living crisis. Here’s where to turn for some real solutions:

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