Living in a tiny, relocatable home about the size of a single car park might not be for everybody.
But former Nelson city councillor Seddon Marshall thinks his “crane-a-home” idea could be a real solution for the affordable housing shortage.
Marshall, who has been involved in the building industry for 65 years, has written a detailed proposal and secured meetings with the Nelson city and Tasman district councils to explore his ideas further.
His “crane-a-home” design was six-by-three metres and included a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and laundry.
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They would be fully insulated and the windows double glazed.
Marshall said a complete home would cost between $45-55,000, about 10 times less than the average house price in Nelson.
“To make any headway in resolving this problem a new approach is necessary. Lateral thinking, innovation and co-operation are the essential ingredients.”
Marshall said tiny homes weren’t a new idea.
But the biggest obstacle to more people building alternative and affordable housing was “the maze of planning laws and restrictions” regarding land use.
“Current rules, regulations and restrictions will need to be revisited and adapted to meet the changing face of society and the realities in today’s life.”
Marshall said he wanted to work with the Nelson city and Tasman district councils on loosening land-use rules so that small, relocatable dwellings could be built in backyards and other available land.
His proposal also includes an option for creating “relocatable home parks” or villages within campgrounds or unused council reserves.
He said no one was building low-cost housing in the region and Special Housing Areas had been a failure.
“They all talk about it, but no one’s actually getting in there and doing anything.”.
Having worked in the building industry for 65 years, Marshall said he had the experience, “cheekiness”, and time to try and get his small house proposal off the ground.
He said it wasn’t the only solution for people living on their own.
“It is, however, a financially viable solution which may be the positive start that is needed to help resolve the affordability crisis.”
Marshall has arranged to meet with council planning staff next month.