Shack Dweller Defies Council Threat: A Tale of Unconventional Living in South London


A determined woman’s unconventional dwelling on a South London pavement has stirred attention, highlighting a unique stance on homelessness. Anne-Marie Cover, residing within a self-constructed shack on Railton Road, Brixton, claims to have discovered an unexpected source of happiness despite impending removal orders from Lambeth Council.

Constructing a Resilient Abode:

Left with limited options following her departure from a previous Clapham residence, Anne-Marie Cover, a 50-year-old resident, embarked on a journey to create her own dwelling. Her shack, ingeniously assembled using wooden pallets, Astroturf, vinyl flooring strips, plywood, and other materials, has become her refuge.

Council’s Ultimatum:

Lambeth Council, however, has deemed Anne-Marie’s dwelling an “obstruction,” issuing a removal notice that stipulates the dismantling of her makeshift home by September 15. The council’s stance has put her newfound happiness at risk.

Unfazed Amidst Uncertainty:

Expressing contentment, Anne-Marie Cover, originally from abroad and residing in the UK for two decades, spoke of her present circumstances with a distinct optimism. She recounted the challenges she faced, including sleeping on a nearby building’s ramp before her shack’s creation. Despite initial skepticism from observers, she found a collaborator who dedicated hours to her project.

Making Do with Essentials:

While her dwelling may seem rudimentary, Anne-Marie has furnished it with essential amenities. A plastic box functions as her washbasin, a paraffin heater provides warmth, and various chairs offer comfort. Her resourcefulness extends to addressing basic needs, including a five-minute walk to Brixton center for restroom facilities.

Community Response and Challenges:

Brixton locals have exhibited curiosity regarding Anne-Marie’s presence, with few incidents of vandalism reported. A fellow resident’s support highlighted community sympathy. Councillor Maria Kay, Lambeth’s cabinet member for reducing homelessness, emphasized the complexities of individual situations and the council’s commitment to addressing both welfare and local concerns.


Anne-Marie Cover’s determination to build and inhabit her shack underscores the multifaceted nature of homelessness. Amidst the legal tussle with Lambeth Council, her unconventional living arrangement remains a symbol of resilience and an unexpected path to happiness.

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