shelter not buildings
Mobile homes are:
○ not buildings under the Building Act
○ not structures under the RMA
○ not real estate under the Land Transfer Act
They are mobile, not fixed to land.
They do not commit land; not in but on land, They serve immediate needs.
Made in a factory in a month, installed onsite in a day, they cost about a tenth of what KiwiBuild calls affordable housing.
Affordable, warm, dry, durable and attractive, they are another part of the solution for today’s housing needs.
UNDERSTANDING THE ISSUES AND THE SOLUTIONS
WE can fix it
What are the official issues? What are the real issues?
MBIE wrote: “MBIE’s view is not that these dwellings are not allowed, but rather that those that are buildings for the purposes of the Building Act must comply with the requirements of the Building Act and Building Code.
Similarly, owners and manufacturers of such dwellings are expected to follow the relevant regulatory
processes, which exist to ensure the safety and wellbeing of building users.” Really?
LET’S BE HONEST HERE – IT’S ABOUT CLASS
Are MBIE or MFE or councils or the neighbours really concerned for the health and safety of the occupants? Let’s be honest here. This is a culture clash. Factory-made mobile homes are not ugly, and they blend in with their surroundings. Some DIY tiny homes do as well. But not all. Some DIY tiny home makers select “nice” neighbourhoods where they place units that annoy grumpy neighbours who complain to council.
THE NZ HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION SAYS:
“The human right to adequate housing is a binding legal obligation of the State of New Zealand: the government has a duty to protect the right of people to enjoy adequate housing and it has a responsibility to provide remedies”
But when an affordable, immediate, safe, warm, dry solution is available, why is it that the State of New Zealand stands in the way?
The Culture Conflict
What is the problem with “ugly” tiny homes?
Google Street-view shows the background of the conflict that became MBIE Determination 2019/017. Dall was dobbed in by a neighbour. The council had to find a violation to charge Dall, saying it was a building under the Building Act. In 2018, the council issued a Notice to Fix. In 2020 the Court set it aside. However, the photo is instructive. It is unlikely either the council or the neighbour cared about Dall’s health & safety. It was a cultural conflict. As the Stuff article describes, it’s ratting out ‘ugly’.
Unlike mobile home users, the tiny home movement has enthusiasts who place their units in “nice” neighbourhoods who complain to council. It is this aesthetic that drives the complaints that eventually get to MBIE, MFE and NZTA who then set about trying to write rules to make it hard.
The mobile home industry is sensitive to the importance of design and visual amenity. It is not size that makes the difference, it is colour, cladding, size/placement of windows & doors, and landscaping.
The industry searches the world for better materials and designs to find attractive, durable, safe materials that cost less to buy, less to install and age well. But it can’t do this if it is using its R&D funds to fight officials.
RMA: Reverse Land Banking
Preserve farmland for the future as kainga today.
A kainga is a temporary land use. The mobile homes are towed to site, installed in a day. Marquees are set up without foundations. The carpark at the entrance is permeable fabric laid on topsoil and covered with crushed stone. The kainga is intended to stand for 15 years.
In 2036, the right to occupy is withdrawn, mobile homes are towed away, marquees taken down and carpark lifted. All that remains is bare topsoil and standpipes that provide farm irrigation & power for hi-tech farming.
This means the NPS for Highly Productive Land should consider kainga to be in complete alignment with government policy. Read this reportfor facts.
Mobile homes land bank. They put the land on hold until needed for high-quality farmland. Meanwhile it enables people to provide for social & economic wellbeing.
Presuming global population grows as projected, the poor agricultural uses that are endemic in NZ will no longer be tolerated by future generations. Reverse land banking preserves farmland until it is needed.