London agent Foxtons do their bit for charity including supporting the capital’s Air Ambulance service but an initiative taken by a pair of homeless people over the past two weeks probably won’t make it onto their corporate social responsibility website.
Max Bloom and Stephen Watt, both of whom had recently been made homeless, built a floating single-room house out of borrowed beer kegs, old sheds and used discarded Foxtons For Sale signs to make its striking roof.
The juxtaposition of the Foxtons signs and the floating home created a stir on Twitter, and one neighbouring boat owner told The Evening Standard it was “worthy of the Tate modern”.
But the Canal and River Trust aren’t art fans. The pair were forcibly evicted from their floating home last Thursday early in the morning and given two minutes to clear their possessions before a floating crane destroyed the structure.
Max and Stephen had spent a month planning the house, which included heating and cooking facilities, and had planned to add solar panels. The pair had also put in an application to the trust to have it registered.
The pair have now been made homeless again. The trust say the hut was a “deathtrap” and unlicensed, and denied that it had acted without compassions, saying it was “heart-breaking to see homelessness” in London, but that vessels on the canal had to be safe.
A statement released by Foxtons said: “We always strive to ensure our boards are used in the correct manner. While we would never condone illegal activity, we do at least appreciate the enterprising way in which they were put to use.”