03/22/2012 08:45 am ET Updated Mar 22, 2012

California Mom Turns Shipping Container Into Home (VIDEO)

The rent has gotten so damn high for one woman that she's been forced to live in a box.

After being forced to leave her house, Lulu, who lives in California, found a shipping container in a junk yard and turned it into a home for her and four children, she told *faircompanies, a website on simple living (h/t Business Insider). To make the box more homey, Lulu said she outfitted the shipping container with other supplies from the junk yard.

She also said the shipping container "would be a really nice house in Argentina," where she grew up.

"The benefits of the container? You can move in right away. You have a house immediately," Lulu said. "It's incredible what you can find in the dump."

Lulu says she cut out the windows and doors with a jigsaw. Downsizing has given her the ability to go back to school instead of having to work fulltime to pay to live in a larger home, she added.

"Do I want to go work more than 10, 20, 30 hours in a week so that I could pay rent to have a big house so that I can be like a healthy, normal mom?" she added.

Though Lulu's story may sound extreme, she's one of many low-income Americans struggling to deal with rising rents, as former and would-be homeowners have turned to renting and other alternatives in the wake of the housing bust.

While the average renter makes $14.15 per hour, it takes at least $18.25 per hour to rent a typical apartment and have enough money left over for other expenses, according to a recent report. As a result, homelessness is likely to rise when the federal stimulus program expires, according to a separate report.

And the situation isn't likely to fix itself anytime soon. That's because housing prices remain in free fall, according to a reputable index. Until that changes, many potential buyers will be deterred from purchasing.