‘Like prison cells’: Nimbys critical of Housing NZ’s compact emergency homes for the poor

Housing New Zealand Corporation is well advanced with nine new compact emergency houses on a West Auckland site, but one critic says they are so frighteningly small that they appear like prison cells. A neighbour asked if they were storage sheds.

Corporation business, innovation and development general manager Andrew Booker said the dwellings were 28sq m but the neighbour said he was surprised at their arrival and appearance and wondered if people could live there.

“These buildings are disgustingly cheap, small, lacking in windows and appear to have only one door. The foundations are low cost and very simple,” the neighbour said. Another neighbour compared them to prison cells or working men’s huts.

But Booker said the homes at 290-292 Great North Rd were being built to meet market demand and were for the Ministry of Social Development’s transitional housing programme, designed to meet a critical need.

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