On August 14 I have an appointment with Lena and Laurens to talk about the design for my Tiny House. What to do till then?… Well! :) I’ve had this idea in my head for a while now about how I would like to live once my Tiny House is done. And even though I have a temporary spot in Alkmaar, I do think it a good idea to talk to some local councils to see what else would be possible.
What I would love is this: that a piece of land in the Alkmaar area would be made available for at least 5 years for Tiny House owners. With space for 5 to 10 Tiny Houses, everyone could rent their own ‘plot’ and some communal facilities on the side: a central space to use as an entertainment area, a laundry room, a vegetable patch for the gardeners among us, a little workshop area… The opportunity to do things together but also to retreat into your own little place, go to work etc. Residents could organize these facilities themselves, so that minimal investment from the council would be needed.
I’ve placed a message on the Facebook page Tiny House Nederland asking whether people would be interested in something like this if it were available, and very quickly Monique replied enthusiastically. Last week Monique, Niels and I got together for a brainstorming session about these ideas and we got so excited! Conclusion? We’re going for it! Monique has a lot of experience with councils and knows her way around the system; Niels knows a lot about building and has great ideas about new forms of sharing knowledge and working together in a community; and I am a decent writer and by now have a lot of contacts in the Dutch Tiny House community. We are also on the same page as to how we envision such a Tiny community and we all want to live in a Tiny House (well, Niels and Olga are still getting used to the idea, but they’ll get there, haha!). Jan Willem and Rosa are building their own Tiny House this winter and are also interested, and that means we already have 4 spots taken!
Next steps: getting to know each other better, putting together a practical and realistic plan, and taking that to the political parties of the city council of Bergen NH. When the plan is worked out further, we will share it with the Tiny House Nederland community so that it can be used by other councils as well. I believe the time is ripe for initiatives like this! I recently read this article on an American website, ‘Tiny House Talk’. It’s about how to get local governments to adjust rules and regulations to accommodate Tiny House living. This paragraph especially resonated with me, and is important for your interactions with official organizations:
‘We really need to remember that they too are human beings, just like us. They have families, tell jokes, eat ice cream, and put their pants on one leg at a time, just like us. And they want to be good at their job, just like us!’
We sometimes have the tendency to expect a negative response in advance, but in doing so we might actually evoke exactly that: a negative response. That’s why I think the above is a golden tip, and we will be taking it to heart!