Farmers whose homes were damaged in the Kaikoura earthquake will be able to apply to buy temporary housing units at a discounted rate.

The 20 are at the Rawhiti Domain in Christchurch, where they were used to support families after the 2011 earthquakes.

Building and Construction Minister Dr Nick Smith said farmers in the Hurunui, Kaikoura and Marlborough districts had badly damaged homes after the November 14 earthquake.

"[They] need alternative accommodation while their homes are repaired, but practically need to stay on the land.

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"The option of relocating the temporary housing now surplus from the Christchurch earthquake recovery will provide a workable solution for some."

The movable homes will be sold for their residual book value of $24,510, which Smith said was a significant discount on their market value.

The farmers will also have to cover the cost of relocation, connection of services and will need to obtain consents from their council.

Thirteen of the 20 Rawhiti units are available, and more will free up as tenants' home repairs are completed.

Smith said 18 farmers in the Hurunui district, five in Kaikoura and 5 in Marlborough could benefit from the accommodation, "although the economic viability of relocating the homes to Marlborough through the Lewis Pass may not be viable".