What about tiny houses – where do they fit in?

What about tiny houses – where do they fit in?

Answer

All housing types have their place and will play a part in TOP’s 30-year urban development vision. TOP recognises that for some New Zealanders, small houses and mobile homes are a way to do housing differently. TOP supports those who choose this for lifestyle reasons.

When used as minor or secondary dwellings (e.g. placed in backyards), small homes will also play an important part as cities grow toward urban maturity. To date, many city and district councils have imposed unnecessary and frustrating planning restrictions on this. TOP wants all residential properties within urban boundaries to be permitted to add minor or secondary dwellings as of right.

The phrase "tiny homes" is also used to refer to custom built mobile homes or trailer homes. These are generally classed as vehicles under the Land Transport Act. There have a been a few cases where this has been drawn into question, resulting in dispute between owner and council. TOP believe the legal distinction is clear but acknowledge it can be difficult for councils to make correct rulings in some cases, particularly on whether a home is deemed “moveable” or not. TOP will work with MBIE to ensure the best guidelines are available to both councils and homeowners.