Govt's pop-up solution to housing crisis

The Government wants families in the new homes by February (File)
The Government wants families in the new homes by February (File)

We've seen pop-up bars and pop-up shops, and now the Government is moving in with pop-up houses as a solution to Auckland's housing crisis.

Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett's just announced a plan to turn vacant Crown land in Auckland's Otahuhu into a neighbourhood of temporary housing for families waiting for a permanent home.

"They're what I call sort of fast-stick builds," she said. "They're ones that are sort of half-modular, so the walls and things are all pre-done off-site so when they get on-site they're just putting the houses together as opposed to building it from scratch."

The moveable homes will be plonked on government-owned land which is earmarked for a new school - but the area doesn't need that school yet so in the meantime it'll be used for 51 houses.

The 1.6ha site at Luke St, Otahuhu is owned by the Ministry of Education, which will be leasing to Housing New Zealand - paid for by the Ministry of Social Development.

Govt's pop-up solution to housing crisis

A birds eye view of the Luke St development (Supplied)

Twenty-seven will be two-bedroom homes, seven will be three-bedroom and 17 four bedroom.

And by fast build, the minister means fast. The homes will only take "literally weeks" to build.

Govt's pop-up solution to housing crisis

View of the main road through the site (Supplied)

"We'll start building in the next few weeks and we'll have people living in them early next year," she said.

"I want people moving in certainly February next year.

"I don't think we've seen a government programme of build like this before."

The houses will stay on the land for at least seven years before they're moved to a new site to make way for the school.

Ms Bennett said she expects families to be in the homes for a period of three to six months.

"This is what we call transitional housing so this gives people a chance who are in emergency situations to get in there, settle down, we've just got to get them sleeping well and good food and settle everything down and then we can really look at those longer term solutions."

While the homes will be built by Housing New Zealand, the management of tenants in them will be contracted to a non-government organisation.