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Living In A Steel Box: Londoners Live In Shipping Containers Due To Soaring Rents

Tyler Durden's picture


With even Bank of England head Mark Carney admitting UK housing prices may be a little bubbley (and affordability plumbing new depths), RT reports that a hostel in east London has come up with the ingenious idea, to try and solve homelessness amid soaring rents in the British capital, of converting a shipping container from China into a tiny low cost home for hard up and desperate Londoners. The boxes, called mYpads, cost GBP75 per week - around one-quarter of the rent of most distant yet commutable borough in London - and are affordable for even those on minimum wage.



Via RT,

Although it’s only a steel box, they are calling it mYpad, as notwithstanding how small it is, it’s a compact home with a tiny kitchen, bathroom and living quarters complete with a flat screen TV and a single bed.

Lying on your bed, you could almost imagine you were in a bunk on a ship, perhaps the one on which the containers were transported.

But as rents in London continue to soar, putting most flats and houses out of reach of many people on low incomes or benefits, these may be part of the solution.


Screenshot from RT video


A mYpad costs just £75 a week. While in some parts of the UK this is cheap but not a giveaway, in London it’s unheard of. In the British capital the average rent, even in a distant borough where oligarchs wouldn’t venture, alive or dead, is around £300 a week.

At 30% of the minimum wage, mYpad is affordable to those who need it most. Louise Stephenson used to live in a hostel but will be one of the first mYpad tenants.

“I think it’s difficult for anyone right now to get comfortable accommodation at a good price, without paying extortionate amounts of rent,” she told RT’s Sarah Firth.

MYpad is the brainchild of Timothy Pain and the YMCA Forest hostel in Walthhamstow East London.  The containers get shipped to Tilbury from China and are then sent to a company for fitting out.


Screenshot from RT video


“Society takes the carpet out from under them, because the moment they get into work, they can’t afford to live in a hostel and they can’t afford to live anywhere else. It doesn’t make any moral or economic sense,” Pain told RT.

Each container costs £20,000 and to start with they will be built at just two sites in 2014, both of which are connected to the Forest Hostel and are only for young people the charity is working with. 

But with some funding from the Greater London Authority, it is hoped that more charitable housing associations will take them on.

While there are plans to build thirty more mYpads next year, this is not even a drop in the ocean. Unless Britain increases the rate at which it is building affordable, new homes, then by 2020 there will be a shortfall of 2 million homes in the UK.

In London this means that some people may never be able to afford a home of their own.


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Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:09 | 4239319 Mercury
Mercury's picture

Nonetheless, these things make great beach houses, club houses and work shops.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:16 | 4239338 negative rates
negative rates's picture

Put um on a slow boat to China and see how well they do after that trip.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:23 | 4239360 Yes We Can. But...
Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

"In London this means that some people may never be able to afford a home of their own."

1) No outrageous property taxes paid to fund statist indoctrination at shitty schools

2) No HOA assholes

3) No mortgage

4) No mortgage default

5) No foreclosure

6) No shitty credit score

7) No weird neighbor for the next 20 years

8) No roof replacement

9) No HVAC replacement

10) No fix or repair daily

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:27 | 4239370 Joe Davola
Joe Davola's picture

It's fun to stay at the


C'mon admit it, you at least thought of making the letters with your arms like back in our ill spent youth.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:36 | 4239397 SafelyGraze
SafelyGraze's picture

"The boxes .. are affordable for even those on minimum wage."

this is *great* news!

now the minimum wage can be reduced.

and property taxes can be increased to recover the amounts needed to support the current high-level services we all demand

regulations will need to be revised, of course, to force these cheap boxes to be upgraded to the kind of dwellings that neighbors will proud of 

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:50 | 4239425 mliu_01
mliu_01's picture

Horri, bloody pads.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 11:18 | 4239524 fuu
fuu's picture

Black Mirror.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 12:35 | 4239839 JackT
JackT's picture

Let's get some MSAs on those puppies!

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 14:54 | 4240467 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Never gets old, nor has it been as relevant in a long, long time:

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only."

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 12:36 | 4239843 JackT
JackT's picture

Let's get some MBSs on those puppies!

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 13:43 | 4240217 dynomutt
dynomutt's picture


Thu, 12/12/2013 - 14:50 | 4240450 financial apoca...
financial apocalyptic contagion's picture

hahahha retards

in vietnam i can stay at the best party hostel in hanoi for a week, eat good food, drink, smoke and fuck fellow backpackers and still pay less than 75 pounds a week

this is pathetic

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:40 | 4239403 Pegasus Muse
Pegasus Muse's picture

A little humor courtesy of the Daily Paul:


Gay Obama

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:53 | 4239435 Chupacabra-322
Chupacabra-322's picture

The Republican and Democratic internationalist leadership, along with their special interest parasites of crony capitalists, socialists and central bankers, promised so so much with "free trade" agreements. They opened up China, created NAFTA, CAFTA, ---, and now they seek to finalize the TTP in secret. It is clear that current leadership of the Republican and Democratic parties, especially at the very top, are more interested in the status quo direction which has ruined our economy and culture. Todays version of the leadership clique still aims to do an end run around our country and people and give enormous power and riches to the few- their buddies. They are disgusting and real flesh and blood traitors who seek protection from the masses with the emerging military/police/surveillance state. The people are the enemy and as far as they are concerned need be left in the dark, dumbed down, and left with false choices.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 11:26 | 4239556 Pegasus Muse
Pegasus Muse's picture

A perceptive guy who frequents ZH came up with this one some time ago.  I use it often. 

"It's a Criminal system, built by Criminals for Criminals. The business of America used to be business. Now the businesses of Amerika are war, theft, mass murder, and police state crackdown on anyone who objects."

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 12:03 | 4239677 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

So when america was being built on the back of slave labor, was that theft?  What about these wars?

Please stop with the ancestor worship...  they are the same all singing, all dancing crap of the earth as we are...

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 13:37 | 4240173 Gavrikon
Gavrikon's picture

My forebearers were po' white trash precisly because of the cheap imported labor from africa.

THe more things change . . .

Fri, 12/13/2013 - 14:15 | 4243938 Tim_
Tim_'s picture

The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews

Jewish Owned Slave Ships

"The following is a partial listing of ships that are recorded as having Jewish owners and are known to have transported slaves. This list, it must be emphasized, is indeed a partial list" (p. 138).

The list is too long to include here.

Jews and the Rape of Black Women

"Jews engaged in the widespread practice of the sexual exploitation of dependent [female] slaves. Such was the practice of jews since the Middle Ages - a practice which required religious legislation to abate. Slave women were employed primarily for domestic and agricultural service in the households of the jewish upper classes" (p. 141).

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 14:40 | 4240415 Chupacabra-322
Chupacabra-322's picture

Checkmate, and my I add very astute observation as that perceptive "guy" who wrote that was none other than myself.

Imitation is the highest form of flattery so Thank you.


By the way,

My best description or term I continue to use to describe the Criminal (s) system is:

The Global Criminal Oligarch Cabal Bankster Intelligence Crime Syndicate. Long winded, I know. I believe it decribes the Globalist to a T.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 22:17 | 4241965 suicidalpsychologist
suicidalpsychologist's picture

news flash in the animal specie known as mankind, stronger, faster, smarter individuals lead the mass and stay at the top of the pyramid while enslaving everyone else who wish they could get up there too. It's a game called life, and the rules are simple; you struggle to survive daily against the competition and you can only dominate, submit, cooperate -when domination is impossible and mutual destruction is threatening, people "choose" to cooperate- or..flee. You can also refuse to play the game anymore and kill yourself tho.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 11:28 | 4239567 chubbar
chubbar's picture

Here is another front of the war on the american people by our gov't.


One late night, I was going over my notes and discovered that there were four areas impacted by the Air Force in Arizona in terms of going after individual property rights. The four areas consisted of my area north of Surprise, parts of Tucson, Gila Bend and Yuma. Adjacent to my notes, was a news release telling Arizona how wonderful the CANAMEX Highway would be for travel and corporate profit when the construction was complete. I discovered at that moment that the four areas under fire from the Air Force identically matched the four planned CANAMEX routes into Arizona.

The CANAMEX is the transportation corridor of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). CAFTA represents a free trade agreement which has resulted in the loss of protective tariffs and the flight of manufacturing and jobs to foreign markets in search of cheap labor. Subsequently, another goal of the Air Force is to use its mission to drive out homeowners in the vicinity of a CANAMEX corridor in order to suppress property values. The land needed by the globalists for their highway is funded 50% by the state and local government and 50% by the Federal Highway Transportation Administration. Their goal is to make that land acquisition as cheap as possible. The Air Force’s mission, of ensuring the profitability of Lockheed Martin, is also being used to make land acquisition costs along these planned CANAMEX Highways as cheap as possible. I ran the odds of these four coincidences being due to mere luck (I used to teach statistics at the undergraduate level), and the odds were calculated at 65 million to one! There can be little doubt, that this is a conspiracy involving the bankers and the Air Force. By the way, who do you think is behind the CANAMEX and CAFTA? It is some of the same bankers that own the military industrial complex. These people are unquestionably brilliant.

I further discovered that CAFTA and NAFTA were about destroying American sovereignty through the creation of the over-arching Security, Prosperity Partnership (SPP). This is the North American Union. I learned very quickly that the stories being told by alternative media writers and talk show hosts about how a small group of men were attempting to control world finance and  wanted to eventually create a world government, were indeed true!! I subsequently became engaged in this fight and have not looked back.

The CANAMEX and the NAFTA Superhighway  will encompass 80 current highway corridors in America. The millions of Americans along these planned routes will have trouble with the military, not realizing the real goal is the expansion of the North American Union. These free trade agreements spell the death of America because of the loss of jobs and the continued influx of millions of unskilled workers into America which serves to break the backs of our infrastructure and is destroying the wages of the American middle class.".........

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 14:06 | 4240290 NaN
NaN's picture

Adjust your paranoia: the "world government" you fear is the US which is controlled by oligarchs.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 15:28 | 4240591 Chupacabra-322
Chupacabra-322's picture

The Global Criminal Oligarch Cabal Bankster Intelligence Crime Syndicate to be more exact.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 15:17 | 4240559 Crash Overide
Crash Overide's picture

I would live in one... errr I mean like 6-8 of them connected together.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:33 | 4239362 Mercury
Mercury's picture

It's more like put it on a fast tractor trailer after the beach party and before the Department of Environmental Resources shows up.

I know a guy who converted one of these into a repair shop/parts warehouse/ auxiliary living quarters for his yacht crew and then shipped both to Spain for the America's Cup.  The boatyard guys he took with him were afraid they wouldn’t have a steady supply of Budweiser on foreign soil so a special rack/dispenser was constructed in the corner for 50 30-paks.


Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:17 | 4239341 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



American women leading us out of this Great Recession.

A California woman builds a home in a shipping container and lives in it with her daughter.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:19 | 4239352 negative rates
negative rates's picture

You're in a containor now, you're not behind the crowd, you wont get rich by digging a ditch, cause you're IN the containor now.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:23 | 4239357 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



It appears that link may no longer work, but here it is...


Thu, 12/12/2013 - 11:30 | 4239564 Four chan
Four chan's picture

bitches can make anything nice <--jelous

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 14:26 | 4240367 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

I have the same water heater for a mobile emergency.  The only thing saving this woman right now from being locked out of her home by the auhtorities and put in a shelter, is that it would be very bad PR for the regulators.  But the fact is, her home is completely illegal and in violation of many codes and ordinances.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 15:00 | 4240492 WOAR
WOAR's picture

Yep. If you saw a well-off white guy do it, they would have to abide by all the regulations, which means that it would never happen.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 15:47 | 4240671 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

I don't want to be overly cynical but something tells me we don't know the whole story.  Someone gave her the container for free but who put up the wall studs, sheetrock and taping? She did all the construction work herself, ok. it's possible but very unlikely.  Where's the baby daddy to her kids?  Out working the land for food? You know she's on public assistance.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 22:30 | 4242005 suicidalpsychologist
suicidalpsychologist's picture

isnt she paying anything for the land she settled on? doesnt she work, doesnt she have to drive for hours to get to the city/town nearby?

Good luck defending yourself if some random weirdo finds out where you live all alone with your daughters.


Hipster bullshit as usual. Im sure she only lives there on the week ends and is suported by someone else who lives in the city and bought the land.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 21:30 | 4241844 Sokhmate
Sokhmate's picture

You'll be a hero of the neighborhood
Nobody knows that you left for good
You're in the army containor now
Oh, ooo oh you're in the army containor. Now

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:46 | 4239413 BandGap
BandGap's picture

Shit, Steinbeck had characters living like this 100 years ago.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 13:51 | 4240247 Wyatt Junker
Wyatt Junker's picture

In Malibu, my choices were few.

1) An old schoolbus with all the seats ripped out on the edge of a cliff.

2) A rusty camper trailer.

3) A modified caboose.


I chose the camper trailer.  An 8 x 10.  Lived in it for 3 years.  Manually flushed dookies with a couple pots and pans.

Best time of my life ever.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 16:07 | 4240719 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Ah the good ole days.  I can only now affford to live like a hippie but now it's not safe because of the increase in crime.  I also got beat out of the no-condom free-love days because then AIDS became prevalent.   I tell ya, life is just not fair.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:22 | 4239359 Rafferty
Rafferty's picture

More than half of London's population is now non British.  Any connection?

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 11:31 | 4239575 Agent P
Agent P's picture

The largest English speaking city in the world where nobody speaks English. 

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 19:20 | 4241496 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

Isn't that Miami?

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 11:55 | 4239656 El Tuco
El Tuco's picture

More than a Trillion dollars leaves developing nations every year. Russia being the largest with almost 200 billion being smuggled out (can anyone say Mafia/Oligarchs). How much of it ends up in London real estate? probably a lot since the laws favor foreign ownership.





Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:32 | 4239384 toady
toady's picture

And their bulletproof.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 13:13 | 4240042 SilverRhino
SilverRhino's picture

Not even close actually. 

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 14:07 | 4240303 NaN
NaN's picture

At least they are rat proof.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 14:17 | 4240331 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

No. They can however, make a nice Faraday Cage. Keeping the NSA at bay.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 14:39 | 4240417 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

You mean protecting against an EMP.  It has no effect on the NSA.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:36 | 4239390 robertsgt40
robertsgt40's picture

I'm guessing a high roller can get a two story flat.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 14:18 | 4240335 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

That would be "unfair."

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 11:04 | 4239481 XAU XAG
XAU XAG's picture

Sorry Guys and Gals


This is old news.............been at least 3 times this has come arround in the last 25 years.


Nothing to see move along


hence this add




This is a much better story

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 14:28 | 4240378 Relentless
Relentless's picture

The govt going to incresing lengths to rip that tax money out of your arses.


Thu, 12/12/2013 - 11:10 | 4239503 Jlasoon
Jlasoon's picture

God Bless those retired Brits here in Florida driving around in their convertible Corvettes while society decays all around them and the younger generation is fucked out of existence. 

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 11:38 | 4239598 frankTHE COIN
frankTHE COIN's picture

There are a few of these in Venice California , as Art , two blocks from the beach.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 12:35 | 4239838 Redneck Hippy
Redneck Hippy's picture

Decades ago, I had a friend who made his home in a rented storage unit.  I guess he was ahead of his time.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 13:14 | 4240045 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

ZeroHedge Town.

Where's Banzai ?

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 14:17 | 4240338 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

John Galt would be proud.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:10 | 4239321 Xibalba
Xibalba's picture


Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:10 | 4239322 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

How do sheeple pay "increasing rents" with declining wages and declining purchasing power?

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:18 | 4239346 Rory_Breaker
Rory_Breaker's picture

They can until they can't.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 13:06 | 4239995 QQQBall
QQQBall's picture

Section-8 housing vouchers

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:15 | 4239334 RaceToTheBottom
RaceToTheBottom's picture

The movie called Blade Runner is looking pretty prophetic right now.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:17 | 4239349 giggler321
giggler321's picture

Yer, the light that burns twice is bright burns half as long

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 12:13 | 4239721 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

The second installment is on the way, but pushed to the back of the heap...  I think Ridley has exodus (why they're going to follow up aronofsky's noah, who knows...), the forever war, and prometheus 2 on deck...  but apparently harrison ford is signed up and the script is far along in development...  so...  we'll see.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 11:02 | 4239466 smokintoad
smokintoad's picture

Snow Crash

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 13:17 | 4240052 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture


Thu, 12/12/2013 - 11:45 | 4239631 StandardDeviant
StandardDeviant's picture

The picture looks like an early version of the towers in Ernest Cline's "Ready Player One".  (A quick, fun sci-fi quest novel, if you happen to like that sort of thing.)

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:15 | 4239339 toady
toady's picture

The rent.... is too damn HIGH!

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:17 | 4239340 Its_the_economy...
Its_the_economy_stupid's picture

THIS is what we have come to.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:15 | 4239342 giggler321
giggler321's picture

Forget 2million homes in 2020, we all know there will be plenty of housing available when the finanicals burst and blood is on the streets.  Central planning knows which is one of the reasons why they ain't building IMHO  With all the boomer generation in housing and they out number the newbies (sorry, scrub that out, payer generation) there should be lots to go around, soon enough...

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 11:03 | 4239469 MilleniumJane
MilleniumJane's picture

Will be?  There already are!  The shadow inventory, last I saw, was outrageously high.  The banks are doing all that they can to keep deflation from happening.  Domestic demand is in the toilet, the only players in the game are international money launderers...

The economy desperately needs deflation to "enema-ize" the the shit out of it and return some homeostasis.  Of course, I'm preaching to the choir...

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:18 | 4239344 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Welcome to biflation: what you make and what you own deflate (shrink). But don't expect to pay any less as costs inflate (grow).

The only thing left to do is to stop worrying and learn to love your oligarch

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 12:29 | 4239809 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

cost push inflation...

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:17 | 4239347 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Looks like a pretty sweet pad!

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 15:37 | 4240634 sunkeye
sunkeye's picture

Sheepdog's "Looks like a pretty sweet pad!" Quite a lol but then again ... not.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:17 | 4239348 new game
new game's picture

work the back forty for food and bunk bed.  a civil war was fought over this concept...

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:18 | 4239354 Whoa Dammit
Whoa Dammit's picture

Just put some bars across the front and you're good to go. /s

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:21 | 4239361 yogibear
yogibear's picture

Maybe they can start instaling them in US cities. Create viliages with these. With less consumption and empty containers it's  a solution.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:23 | 4239364 JiminGA
JiminGA's picture

In the US we call these folks "preppers".

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 11:10 | 4239400 PrecipiceWatching
PrecipiceWatching's picture

Preppers would not choose to position their particular steel box in the middle of a fragile, first-to-go-when-the-SHTF, densely packed urban area, chock full of chip on shoulder "minorities".


Thu, 12/12/2013 - 11:36 | 4239596 kralizec
kralizec's picture

Yes, rent a backhoe and go out to your plot in the woods, dig a big hole, stick the container in it and bury the bastard.  But remember to use some bracing to the enterance, you can fortify that later.  Insti-bunker!

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:23 | 4239365 RSDallas
RSDallas's picture


Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:24 | 4239366 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

A steel box > mortgage slavery to some douchebag banster rentier

However, the rise of rent for flats in London, SF, NYC, Boston, etc is purely comical because some of these places are REALLY shitty.  At least the steel box is clean (if not cold).

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:26 | 4239369 yogibear
yogibear's picture

How do sheeple pay "increasing rents" with declining wages and declining purchasing power?

The oligarchs want people to live in expensive hedge fund owned properties.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 11:11 | 4239504 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture


How do sheeple pay "increasing rents" with declining wages and declining purchasing power?

Easy, just get another job!

The (neoliberal) dream is that we’d all have our gazillion individual accounts — one for retirement, one for sickness, one for unemployment, one for the kids, and so on, each connected to our employment, so that we understand that everything good in life depends upon our boss (and not the government) — and every day we’d check in to see how they’re doing, what needs attending to, what can be better invested elsewhere. It’s as if, in the neoliberal dream, we’re all retirees in Boca, with nothing better to do than to check in with our broker, except of course that we’re not. Indeed, if Republicans (and some Democrats) had their way, we’d never retire at all.

In real (or at least our preferred) life, we do have other, better things to do. We have books to read, children to raise, friends to meet, loved ones to care for, amusements to enjoy, drinks to drink, walks to take, webs to surf, couches to lie on, games to play, movies to see, protests to make, movements to build, marches to march, and more. Most days, we don’t have time to do any of that. We’re working way too many hours for too little pay, and in the remaining few hours (minutes) we have, after the kids are asleep, the dishes are washed, and the laundry is done, we have to haggle with insurance companies about doctor’s bills, deal with school officials needing forms signed, and more.

What’s so astounding about Romney’s proposal — and the neoliberal worldview more generally — is that it would just add to this immense, and incredibly shitty, hassle of everyday life. One more account to keep track of, one more bell to answer. Why would anyone want to live like that? I sure as hell don’t know, but I think that’s the goal of the neoliberals: not just so that we’re more responsible with our money, but also so that we’re more consumed by it: so that we don’t have time for anything else. Especially anything, like politics, that would upset the social order as it is.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 11:37 | 4239592 Nimby
Nimby's picture

You're working too many hours for too little pay because those before you hung a debt yoke around your neck before you were even born, and now you're doing the same thing to the next generation.


Suck it up, buttercup.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 15:36 | 4240638 semperfi
semperfi's picture

work is for suckers - just go on the dole - you can do pretty good on the dole these days

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 12:50 | 4239905 combatsnoopy
combatsnoopy's picture

These oligarchs claim that they can do this because they already own the property.  If you go out to West LA, Brentwood, Santa Monica (where seasoned college educated professionals in their one bedrooms are renting out their only bedroom and sleeping in their living rooms because they don't want to admit that they can't afford their rents)---the "for rent" signs for $2500/1 bedroom are up EVERYWHERE.  Lots of apartments are vacant because whoever owns these properties don't want to work, they just want to milk one tenant for so much money.  AFTER the subprime collapse. 

If and when the Federal Reserve interest rates go up, we will find out who really owns these properties.  :)

It's not unlike Californians to indebt themselves to appear richer than they really are.  

I laugh when they act like they have the audacity to act like a prick because they decided to leverage their family's inheritance to suffice for their inferiority complex.  (I've seen it on the other side.  Funny when realtors try to pull one over on a finance professional who know what a balance sheet is. )

Business (ie. small businesses) is a fascade.  Hedge funds are taking out teaser rate loans to hoard complexes to rent out one apartment at an excessive rate for an average place.  Houses in the GHETTOS in California are actually better quality than they are in these "prime" areas.  Don't underestimate minority credit limits either.  And don't underestimate "colored" folk who actually DO take care of their properties.  

I'm talking about the people you meet in church, not the kooks.  You can figure out the difference.  THe housing market can sort itself out nicely if it were allowed to happen.  We just to need to prove the "status quo" "MSM" "PR" people wrong.  



Thu, 12/12/2013 - 13:14 | 4240040 the grateful un...
the grateful unemployed's picture

Mitt Romney is tearing down his old modest La Jolla home of about 3000 square feet to build a McMansion. the gentrification process is heading for SM too, where a lot of homes are old and small, the property is attractive and the 1% dont want to bother with SoCentral LA where you're in the flight path to LAX and there's a refinery between you and the ocean and frankly it will take a decade to do it all. meanwhile the poor are being shuffled to the upper desert lots of wide open spaces ( of courses the homes are only ten feet apart ) its the same old story

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:28 | 4239374 ZeroPoint
ZeroPoint's picture

This looks like a variation on the Agenda21 microapartments being piloted in NYC. 

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:33 | 4239383 WTFUD
WTFUD's picture

. . . and when you kick the bucket you have a ready made coffin, win/win.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:46 | 4239415 toady
toady's picture

Just padlock the door and walk away. Or, for the nautically inclined, drill a few holes and drop it in the ocean. Viola, instant burial at sea!

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:37 | 4239393 WTFUD
WTFUD's picture

Used to call those structures ' time shares ' in Spain.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 11:00 | 4239442 Whoa Dammit
Whoa Dammit's picture


Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:58 | 4239450 Whoa Dammit
Whoa Dammit's picture

Used to call 'em "sweat boxes" in prisons in The South.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 15:16 | 4240555 WOAR
WOAR's picture

Didn't I see one of those in Bridge over the River Kwai?

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:42 | 4239405 muleskinner
muleskinner's picture

Put 2 sets of railroad car wheels, run them down the railroad track, have yourself a job working on the railroad with your home in tow like they did back when I was a gandy dancer and would ride the rails to the next town for more work.  

Don't need no stinkin' house when your work is always on the move and you're too young and dumb to know shit from tar.  Now, I'm too old and much too dumb, haven't learned a thing all my born days.

The only thing new about the container digs is the wheels were removed.  Helluva lot stronger than a 'manufactured home' and not a bad idea to recycle it whole.

I knew people who worked their entire lives riding the rails in a bunk car and were married.  Never owned a home.  He worked and she followed with him to the work.  After they retired and were too old to buy a house, they rented an apartment.  Kind of a nomad's way of life but they did it.

Container living is nothing new, just hit a new mode.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:46 | 4239416 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture


Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:46 | 4239417 1000yrdstare
1000yrdstare's picture

AGENDA 21!!! bitches!!

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:47 | 4239418 1000yrdstare
1000yrdstare's picture

in spite of my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage.....

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 12:56 | 4239951 the grateful un...
the grateful unemployed's picture

is that from Look Back in Anger?

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 11:15 | 4239512 FrankDrakman
FrankDrakman's picture

Re-purposed containers have been around for years, and there are many companies that offer conversion kits. This isn't "news".

Put two of them together, and you have a space about 38 ft long, 8 ft high and 8 feet wide. Let's you stuff a small bath and laundry at one end, a bedroom at the other, and have a decent sized living/dining/kitchen area.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 11:20 | 4239530 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

75 UK pounds is over $100 per week. Even that is not affordable for minimum wage workers unless they pack in there like sardines.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 13:56 | 4240266 NaN
NaN's picture

Minimum wage is 2x higher in UK than US:

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 11:24 | 4239537 Kickaha
Kickaha's picture

One big advantage to using containers to house the poor is that once the gov. decides to gentrify the neighborhood, you can economically ship the low wage renters to the boonies.  No more poor people, and no eviction pile of broken furniture roadside.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 11:26 | 4239545 Sandmann
Sandmann's picture

Neat idea, but I hear from January 2014 Romania and Bulgaria are going to ship containers fully occupied

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 11:25 | 4239547 flrzero
flrzero's picture

They could at least use a 40 foot container....

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 11:29 | 4239572 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

20000 pounds to convert a steel container to a trailer without wheels? That's $32804.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 11:41 | 4239615 pupdog1
pupdog1's picture

The sad thing is, they will wake up one morning and find themselves on a ship headed back to China.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 12:39 | 4239850 combatsnoopy
combatsnoopy's picture

CHina has a job surplus.  IT may not be a bad thing.  

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 11:44 | 4239620 F.A. Hayek
F.A. Hayek's picture

If you like your cardboard refrigerator box, you can keep your cardboard refrigerator box.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 11:47 | 4239634 Liquid Courage
Liquid Courage's picture

Metaphor becomes Reality ... well, with the price of Ticky Tacky these days, what else can you expect?


Malvina Reynolds - Little Boxes

Little boxes on the hillside
Little boxes made of ticky tacky
Little boxes on the hillside
Little boxes all the same

There's a pink one and a green one
And a blue one and a yellow one
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same

And the people in the houses
All went to the university
Where they were put in boxes
And they came out all the same

And there's doctors and lawyers
And business executives
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same

And they all play on the golf course
And drink their martinis dry
And they all have pretty children
And the children go to school

And the children go to summer camp
And then to the university
Where they are put in boxes
And they come out all the same

And the boys go into business
And marry and raise a family
In boxes made of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same

There's a pink one and a green one
And a blue one and a yellow one
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 12:03 | 4239673 BandGap
BandGap's picture

Did anyone else notice the ad on this page for making a garage for you new shipping container home?

Unbelieveable. Next, how to domesticate a rat for a small sized pet for that party bungalow.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 13:37 | 4239709 Metal Minded
Metal Minded's picture

The slow motion pauperization(begun in the early '70s) of the West's working class and, yes, the middle class, is just becoming more open and visible. This is nothing new in other parts of the world. I worked in Tokyo in 1980. Tokyo working class then lived in the same conditions as represented by these containers, only with 1/2 the sg footage, and the facilities down the hall.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 12:15 | 4239734 smacker
smacker's picture

These container homes have the added advantage of being stackable.

You really can live on the 10th floor for £75 pw ;-)

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 13:03 | 4239990 the grateful un...
the grateful unemployed's picture

too bad WTC wasn't made out of these things, they would have never knocked it down.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 12:18 | 4239749 adr
adr's picture

20k Pounds????? Jesus the YMCA is getting ripped off. Go check out Alibaba and see what you can buy for that kind of cash. You can buy a 1700 sq ft prefab steel structure home for that kind of money, complete with interior walls, roof, siding, windows, and doors. You need to add electrical and plumbing, but that stuff is cheap as well.

You can buy a complete prefab shipping container home for $5000. Hell in the United States you can buy a fifth wheel trailer fully furnished with a single slide out for $25k.

I've been thinking about buying land and buying up a whole bunch of Chinese pre fab homes. In some areas of the country where a dilapidated 1950s Sears home goes for $325k, buying a lot for $50k and putting up a Chinese kit home could net you $150k in profit easily.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 12:28 | 4239793 Hongcha
Hongcha's picture

Neal Stephenson calls another one (Snow Crash, 1994).

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 12:36 | 4239821 ncdirtdigger
ncdirtdigger's picture

compared top the car I lived in as a yute, these things are palaces.

Is it a coincidence that two of the ads I see on this page are "Do you need to find a way to make more money in your retirement" and one for shipping containers? Hmmmmm

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 13:01 | 4239974 the grateful un...
the grateful unemployed's picture

some of those old cars from the 50's were bigger than  most shipping containers, with fins and chrome, they were a far superior unit

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 13:23 | 4240095 AGAU
AGAU's picture

Ok what have we got? Lots of spare shipping containers sir, and lots of spare people.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 13:01 | 4239962 the grateful un...
the grateful unemployed's picture

put a half dozen of these together, and bury half of another and you have a McShipping Container with a pool

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 13:02 | 4239982 WTFUD
WTFUD's picture

If I keep my head down and my nose clean I can escape cardboard city for tin pan alley, shucks.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 13:04 | 4239996 the grateful un...
the grateful unemployed's picture

yeah but think of the money you save on fire insurance

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 13:25 | 4240106 WTFUD
WTFUD's picture

Or freeze to death! Toss of a coin.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 13:37 | 4240184 WTFUD
WTFUD's picture

Slightly off topic, how stupid are those Ukrainians? If they had waited another week there would be no need to build sand (snow) banks. It will be -30 and 12ft of snow.
200 of them die annually of frostbite/ hypothermia and if the Russians turn off the gas. . . they will be praying for an atomic strike. just saying

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 13:40 | 4240200 Double R
Double R's picture

I'am living in a box...




Thu, 12/12/2013 - 15:27 | 4240595 WOAR
WOAR's picture

I found a way to break through the cellophane...cuz I know what's goin' on!

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 14:11 | 4240314 Smiddywesson
Smiddywesson's picture

Hotel 12 Monkeys.  Stack em up.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 14:16 | 4240334 Watson
Watson's picture

Couple of points:

1. Wasn't stuff like that seen in Japan in the late 1980's, when the site value of the Emperor's palace exceeded the _total_ value of _all_ real estate in CA, and (somehow) there were multi-generational mortgages? That situation did not end well;

2. No-one in the UK real estate wants to talk about it, but outside city centres there is _plenty_ of land available for development (so no serious supply problems). However, there is a 'green-belt' policy which makes that land unavailable. Remove that policy and within five years you will have plenty of new houses (and plenty of construction jobs), and quite possibly a sharp reduction in the price of average homes. Of course, not going to happen with a government/central bank that until very recently thought 95% mortgages were a good idea, and where every last voter is borrowed to the hilt against real estate assets.

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 15:30 | 4240609 semperfi
semperfi's picture

and in the U.S. we'll call them McPartments

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 15:30 | 4240610 semperfi
semperfi's picture

and in the U.S. we'll call them McPartments

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 15:58 | 4240698 stiler
stiler's picture

stack em & pack em -- Agenda 21

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 17:06 | 4240952 Parrotile
Parrotile's picture

Hardly the "latest innovation" in affordable housing. Amsterdam University led the way with the Student Housing project initiated by Tempohousing - the Keetwonen Project which started "construction" in 2005. The idea has caught on "Down Under" too - e.g. the Australian National University accommodation project started in 2009 -, and many other similar programmes.

Just because it (or they) used to be a shipping container, doesn't mean that, with a little imagination, the end result must be utilitarian - for instance - Far more interesting housing than the usual mass-designed, mass-produced "cookie-cutter" so-called "modern" housing, and every one of these properties would make an excellent home, particularly that Chilean hillside structure!!

Royal Wolf Shipping (Melbourne) even has their Office made from recycled shipping containers -

There are LOTS of similar programmed going on Worldwide, for example -

Fri, 12/13/2013 - 01:15 | 4242510 mantrid
mantrid's picture

so the Brits had been drawing immigrants for decades giving them cheap subsidized homes, and now they run of homes for themselves.

perhaps this QE-driven policy is intended to drive immigrants out?

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