Tiny houses have been popping up all over the Netherlands as a solution to the housing crisis. However, many municipalities view tiny houses as experimental or temporary dwellings rather than a permanent housing option. This is where permanent tiny house projects, where residents can stay indefinitely, come in. These projects not only offer affordable, sustainable housing but also promote a sense of community.
Tiny house pioneer Marjolein Jonker recently moved to the ecological neighborhood of Olstergaard and has been busy planting trees, shrubs, and flowers. She and her neighbors are creating a beautiful green community filled with indigenous species, edible plants, and biodiversity. Jonker has lived in a tiny house in Alkmaar for five years and has finally found a permanent place to call home.
According to a survey, one in five Dutch people is interested in living in a tiny house, and 29% of social renters would consider it as a housing option. Unfortunately, many municipalities do not recognize tiny houses as a valid form of housing, opting for temporary solutions like flex housing.
Solving the Housing Crisis with Permanent Tiny House Projects
Jonker argues that addressing the root of the housing crisis requires building homes based on demand, rather than pushing for the most profitable options. Currently, there are mostly single-family homes and apartments available, and even those are unaffordable for many. A growing number of people, from all ages, would love to live in affordable, small homes with a garden. Diversifying the housing market is necessary to help people transition to homes that suit their needs in every stage of their lives.
Many people believe that there is no space for tiny houses in the Netherlands. However, Jonker believes that how we utilize space is a choice. The Netherlands has intensive livestock farming, which takes up a lot of space. What if that land were used to create regenerative farms, including tiny house communities? It would be a win-win situation.
Permanent Tiny House Projects in the Netherlands
Permanent tiny house projects are gaining popularity in the Netherlands, and more are being built every year. Here are some of Jonker’s favorites:
- Tiny House Techum, Leeuwarden, Friesland: a permanent community with ten tiny houses. The land is leased to residents.
- Ecodorp Bolderburen, Almere: a community focused on sustainability and Swedish “hygge.” There are permanent tiny houses on a 4000 square meter field.
- Tiny House Project Falgatuinen, Den Helder: a rental project where residents can rent a plot of around 600 square meters for about €200 per month.
- CPO De Kleine Vos, Texel: a project with six tiny houses near Den Burg.
- Kalterbroeken, Drenthe: a community with eight permanent micro-homes. Residents were able to purchase a plot of land for €32,000.
Incorporating tiny houses into new and existing neighborhoods is possible and beneficial for creating sustainable communities. Permanent tiny house projects provide a practical solution to the housing crisis while also promoting community building and environmental sustainability.