Christchurch campervan village to house hundreds

BEN HEATHER AND GLENN CONWAY
Last updated 05:00 15/03/2011
PLACE FOR DISPLACED: Hundreds of campervans will alleviate post-quake Christchurch's critical housing shortage. Here, Kevin Clinch connects power to a van.
JOHN BISSET/Timaru Herald
PLACE FOR DISPLACED: Hundreds of campervans will alleviate post-quake Christchurch's critical housing shortage. Here, Kevin Clinch connects power to a van.

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A makeshift campervan village at Canterbury Agricultural Park could be the new home for hundreds of quake-displaced residents.

Yesterday, Housing Minister Phil Heatley said 150 "mobile" homes were being set up this week, with up to 300 more on other Christchurch sites, including Riccarton Racecourse, next week.

The Department of Building and Housing would also release a proposal to build an additional 500 "modular" houses, he said.

The new homes would be clustered on a "number of sites" and could house thousands of people for up to six months.

Heatley said a predicted influx of people returning to Christchurch this week, along with people looking for homes after staying with relatives and friends, meant there was an urgent need for temporary housing.

The demand would be assessed each week.

All homes would be self-contained, with power, sewerage and water. To be eligible, people's homes would need to be uninhabitable.

The housing would not be free, but accommodation support should be available through insurers or government agencies.

He would not comment on when people could move into the first campervans.

Construction firm Fletcher Building yesterday confirmed it was one of several companies to prepare temporary housing options for the Government.

Infrastructure chief executive Mark Binns said its proposal included three sets of "worker camps" that could accommodate 900 people on one site, and 250 to 300 family houses on another site.

Both bids involved joint ventures with unidentified landowners.

Binns said the details were confidential, but involved "many millions" of dollars.

The worker camp-style housing would be temporary modular units, but the family housing buildings would be built to last for a 10-year minimum.

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