Double-decker bus bought on eBay becomes new home for evicted Suffolk family
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
A Suffolk family faced with homelessness is moving into a green double-decker bus after a lack of housing supply meant they were unable to find a suitable property to rent in their town.
Felixstowe man Simon Lewis bought the bus, currently parked in Gainsborough Road, for £6,000 from eBay after his family was served with an eviction notice to leave their current home by August 9 as their landlord wished to sell the property.
The drastic move followed an exhaustive and ultimately fruitless search among local estate agents and councils for an alternative five-bedroom home for Mr Lewis, his partner Sophie Underwood and their five children.
He is now spending £14,000 converting the out-of-service bus, previously owned by a Cambridge bus company, by creating four bedrooms, a bathroom and toilet on the top deck, while downstairs there will be a kitchen, dining room and seating area.
Mr Lewis said: “We are renting and unfortunately the landlord has decided to sell and there is literally nothing available. There are literally no homes with estate agents so basically, we decided we could either move out of town or end up homeless.”
The Covid-19 pandemic had also had an impact, making it harder for the family to get "back on their feet" financially and they can’t afford to buy a house.
He said: “Rather than leaving us homeless or burdening the council with the responsibility to find us somewhere to live, we decided to take matters into our own hands.
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“It has always been a dream of ours to travel the country around the UK and visit the four parts of the country. This gives us the opportunity to visit the Lake District and see the rest of the UK."
The vape shop worker said another advantage was that they would save thousands of pounds a year by living on the bus.
He believed the government should increase council taxes to fund more home development.
“There should be extra tax on second homes. I would impose four times the current level of council tax on second homes and use the money to fund house building. It’s an oven-ready solution isn’t it?” Mr Lewis said.