Auckland's housing shortage: Government to consider temporary homes

Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett says modular housing could be a faster and cheaper alternative to other work going ...
FAIRFAX NZ

Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett says modular housing could be a faster and cheaper alternative to other work going on to tackle Auckland's housing crisis.

Temporary houses could be placed on Auckland land to ease the city's housing shortage, the Government says.

However, Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett says the idea is still being investigated, while the earliest around 150 houses could be set up would be April next year.

After the Canterbury earthquakes, the Government set up "temporary housing villages" with a total of 124 properties to house quake-displaced residents.

Temporary housing villages were used in Christchurch to provide a home for quake-displaced residents.
KIRK HARGREAVES/FAIRFAX NZ

Temporary housing villages were used in Christchurch to provide a home for quake-displaced residents.

Prime Minister John Key said Bennett had been looking into whether prefabricated or modular houses could be used in Auckland, where the Government is under pressure to deal with rising homelessness.

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"If the need arises or the opportunity exists, she might do those kinds of things.

"She's had some advice I think on that as an option for her: whether she can actually execute that and whether it's done in a timeframe that's available, [we have to] wait and see – it's a work in progress."

Bennett said temporary housing was part of "a whole lot of work that's actually been going on for a long time".

"We've definitely been looking at options around modular housing and others, but we just want to make sure that we're stacking it all up and those things could possibly come together."

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Bennett said she was still waiting on final advice, but "if everything went according to plan", people could be in the houses by April next year, with between 130 and 150 houses constructed as an "initial tester".

Temporary housing was initially mooted as a way to rehouse tenants required to leave Housing New Zealand houses which were knocked down and replaced with more properties.

However, Bennett said the Government "hadn't gone into the details" of who could benefit from temporary housing, while a decision could be some time away.

"It certainly looks faster and it looks cheaper than a lot of what's happening, so we've been investigating what the options from that may be."

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