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An artist's tiny home inside a dumpster is blowing up on TikTok as people question the practicality of his solution to unaffordable rent

Charissa Cheong   

An artist's tiny home inside a dumpster is blowing up on TikTok as people question the practicality of his solution to unaffordable rent
  • An artist built a tiny home from a dumpster to protest rising rent costs in London, England.
  • He gave a tour of his home to a British TikToker, and it went hugely viral.

An artist who said he was struggling to pay rent in London, England, made a tiny home from a dumpster, and a tour of his new living space has gone viral on TikTok.

The home is an art project by Harrison Marshall, which he made in response the rising cost of living and rent prices in the UK, according to an Instagram statement he posted on March 4.

Marshall previously told Insider that he is planning to live in the home full-time for one year, and came up with the idea because he was struggling to find a place to live due to the "crazy" prices in the city.

He said that the project "also gave quite a good juxtaposition between what you don't typically think of as a house and almost the polar opposite of that, which is a bin or dumpster, and how actually that could be turned into something which is relatively cozy and homely."

@jj02395 £50 rent London Tinyhome #london #rent #tinyhome @TheSkipHouse ♬ original sound - Jub London

On March 3, a TikTok user who goes by the name "Jub London," who typically posts tours of various apartments in London, asking the inhabitants how expensive their rent is, posted an interview with Marshall, where the artist showed him around the tiny home.

In the video, Marshall described the house as "a loophole to live in central London for next to no money," and then showed the camera the entrance to his living space, which had a ladder leading up to a small opening in the wooden wall.

Inside the tiny home, Marshall showed a portable stove and shelves where he stored some pots and pans, which acted as his kitchen space, as well as a ladder that led up to a platform where he had a mattress for sleeping on.

"You know what, I'm actually surprised at how weirdly big it is," the person filming said in response to seeing the home.

The TikTok blew up, receiving 22.4 million views and becoming the most-watched post on the user's account — but commenters did not seem particularly impressed by the artist's living situation.

Many people asked questions about how practical and realistic it was for him to live there full-time. Some pointed out that it looked like it would get cold inside the wooden structure at night. Responding to some of these comments from his own TikTok account @the.skiphouse, Marshall said: "It was freezing for the first month, but I now have electricity so the little space heater works a treat!"

Other commenters said that some of the amenities in the tiny home looked too impractical to use. In particular, they said that the mini-fridge featured in the tour was "pointless" and could probably only "hold one can" of soda.

"That is probably the tiniest fridge I've seen in someone's house," Jub London could be heard saying during the video.

The TikTok also stirred debate among some commenters about whether the artist's concept for temporary accommodation could become a viable option for helping unhoused people.

"We need a village of these to help the homeless with low-cost housing," one user wrote, while another said, "This is an artistic project not a realistic alternative for the unhoused."

On his Instagram page, where has been posting updates about how he is getting on inside the tiny home, Marshall has said that the project was meant to be an artistic "statement" and not a "solution" to the housing crisis. However, he also previously told Insider that one of his goals is to "spark creative thinking" about rising rent costs, and to "get people talking about the different ways that people are living now, and how more thought could be put into social housing."

London's Westminister Council confirmed in March that the city had seen a record number of homeless families living in hotels due to soaring rent costs, rising by 1,740%, London newspaper the Evening Standard reported.

As Insider previously reported, the situation for renters has not been any easier in the US, as discounts on rent from early on in the pandemic eventually gave way to rent hikes and bidding wars that have disrupted the market and pushed some tenants out of major cities.

On TikTok, house and apartment tour videos have become explosively popular in recent months, particularly when creators post about their living situations to comment and highlight the high cost of rent in comparison to the often small amount of space they've been offered.

In June, a TikToker who filmed a tour of a two-bedroom apartment that she viewed, which she said cost $12,000 per month, went viral as viewers insisted they thought the living space was "not worth" the rental price.

"Jub London" and Harrison Marshall did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

For more stories like this, check out coverage from Insider's Digital Culture team here.

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