Unhoused Man Builds Entire House Off The Side Of A Los Angeles Freeway

Screenshot: KTLA
Screenshot: KTLA

Housing is tight across the country, but it seems to feel tightest in Southern California. Between low supply and rents that stubbornly won’t come down, residents — like myself — are being squeezed on both sides by the issues. Some are taking things into their own hands and literally making their own dwellings near places designed for cars.

KTLA reports that some unhoused residents in LA have constructed an entire house off the side of a local freeway. The makeshift dwelling sits alongside the 110 freeway near the neighborhood of Highland Park. This isn’t some shack made out of makeshift boxes with a sheet for an entrance either. This is an entire house with amenities. There looks to be a walkway, front door, stone wall, and lighting powered by electricity coming from somewhere. There’s even a hammock for some road-side relaxation.

Some of the local residents seem unbothered by the makeshift home. One local woman remarked that the people who live there — who also declined to speak to KTLA — pretty much keep to themselves. Others, like one local man, are impressed with what they’ve built but still don’t want to see anything like it as he explained to KTLA.


Neighbor Mike Ancheta does not feel the same, though he admitted some of the handiwork on the structures is impressive.

“I was just admiring the work that they’ve done,” he told KTLA. “Then, of course, you get violently attacked by these guys.”

As far as he’s concerned, the city needs to clear the encampment.

“This doesn’t belong here. This is public property,” Ancheta said. “But this is not what it’s supposed to be used for. This is dangerous. As you can see, someone is cooking out there, an open fire. They are stealing electricity. I mean, come on.”

Dangerous is an understatement. The 110 freeway — also known as the Arroyo Seco Parkway — opened in 1938 and was the first freeway in the western U.S. It was designed and intended to handle 27,000 vehicles a day. Of course with this being Southern California that number was quickly overwhelmed.Now, the 110 handles nearly 130,000 cars every single day. That many vehicles passing mere feet from a place someone is living at is extremely dangerous.

Other residents don’t want to see the home alongside the freeway either but they understand the need, especially with LA’s rents. “It’s messed up,” he said. “They should lower rent. They should lower all kinds of stuff, especially in LA” said one resident. Whether or not local officials will make moves to clear the home from the freeway remains to be seen.

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