Tiny house owner forced to go

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - RHYS CHAMBERLAIN

‘‘I don't want to cause more trou­ble.’’

A Queen­stown woman who built a tiny house and leased land on which to put it has been forced to leave.

Ayumi Gal­lagher was asked to leave the Ar­row­town premises, along with her tiny home, af­ter neigh­bours were alerted to her and her part­ner liv­ing there.

Gal­lagher said neigh­bours com­plained and asked them to move on, cit­ing covenants is­sues.

The cou­ple did, not want­ing to ‘‘cause more trou­ble’’.

They would live in a camp­ing ground un­til they could make other ar­range­ments.

Queen­stown Lakes District Coun­cil reg­u­la­tory man­ager Lee Web­ster said no coun­cil reg­u­la­tions had been bro­ken and it was a civil mat­ter.

Covenants were put in place by a de­vel­oper, he said.

The Mir­ror did not con­tact the land owner or neigh­bour at Gal­lagher’s re­quest.

The 30-year-old head of well­be­ing at the Sher­wood Ho­tel fol­lowed through on her dream and built a 16 sqm ‘‘tiny home’’ for $26,500.

‘‘It was such a ridicu­lous dream,’’ Gal­lagher said.

‘‘It was sup­posed to not ever hap­pen.

‘‘This is just a sym­bol that you can do any­thing.’’

Gal­lagher was

for­tu­nate Mod­box Homes Queen­stown saw her idea and de­cided to ‘‘spon­sor’’ her by let­ting the build take place in their yard and com­plet­ing the struc­tural side.

The 3.8 me­tre high, 3.26 tonne ‘‘car­a­van’’ fea­tures a sit­ting area, kitchen and bath­room, as well as stairs to a mez­za­nine floor bed­room.

The cou­ple paid $100 a week to lease land on which the tiny home sits.

Ad­just­ing to liv­ing in such a small space was rel­a­tively easy, she said.

‘‘I’m not down-siz­ing from a house as I’ve only ever lived in a room. I’m ac­tu­ally up-siz­ing... [but] it takes a spe­cific kind of per­son to live in a tiny house.’’

There were neg­a­tives to liv­ing in a tiny home, in­clud­ing peo­ple who felt the cou­ple hadn’t earned the right to be liv­ing on a mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar block of land.

‘‘If peo­ple aren’t happy with this hap­pen­ing, then there has to be a dif­fer­ent op­tion [for Queen­stown res­i­dents].

‘‘If I had $200,000 as a de­posit, I would much rather spend $80,000 on a house and then spend the rest on liv­ing.’’

RHYS CHAMBERLAIN

Queen­stown’s Ayumi Gal­lagher and her part­ner built a tiny house which solved her house-buy­ing is­sue.

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