"Shane Pye, who lives in the Melbourne suburb of Chadstone, was shocked to see a 2m wooden crucifix materialise outside his neighbour's housing commission flat [welfare apartment] this week.
But Leonard Thuraisingham, a devout Christian, refuses to remove the structure.
Mr Pye, who lives in a rear flat at the Aloomba St address, said he was not consulted about the cross, which stands beside a shared driveway.
He has complained to the Office of Housing, and the dispute now threatens to end a close friendship. "I am not against religion. I just do not want it shoved down my throat and that is what it's going to do every time I walk out the front of my yard," Mr Pye said. "I just believe it has to come down."
Office of Housing spokesman Brendan Ryan said the cross was on Mr Thuraisingham's property and there were no grounds for action.