On January 2nd, I paid a visit to Mill Home in the beautiful village of Mill, Noord-Brabant. I’ve known Gerard Dijkstra of Mill Home for a while; he’s a super likable man who heartily supports the Tiny House movement and philosophy. Every now and then we call each other to catch up on how both of us are doing with our Tiny House activities and we always get excited about each other’s accomplishments. Mill Home is working on a special project in Friesland, the province Gerard considers his home: a Tiny House street in Hardegarijp. I wanted to know everything about it, of course, and so I went to the factory in Mill, where Gerard and CEO Rob Besemer welcomed me with open arms.
Mill Home is one of the first companies in the Netherlands that offers professionally built Tiny Houses. It’s not as easy as it sounds, considering the tight regulations around housing in the Netherlands. Because, where to put your Tiny House once it’s built? The Tiny House philosophy is very dear to Gerard and these Tiny Houses are completely suitable for permanent housing. The Mill Home team went looking for possible locations for placing Tiny Houses and got into contact with the municipality of Tietjerkseradeel. Together with the municipality they’ve made a plan for a street with five Tiny Lofts – the newest model of Mill Home. And it’s gorgeous!
The houses are on a lot of 175 m² each, have a communal space with storage and are aimed at starters. There are several options for financing, even a mortgage is possible for a Tiny Loft. If you buy the house and rent the ground, your living costs would be about €350,- a month, probably even less.
So what does that figure buy you? A detached home with all the comfort you can ask for, connected to public facilities but still energy neutral. The Tiny Loft has solar panels on the roof, a spacious kitchen and living room, the bed is on the ground floor and can be put out of sight during at daytime. The house has floor heating, a state-of-the-art shower that recycles water which makes it super economical, shutters on the outside as sun protection and a clever toilet with a sink, which re-uses the water used for washing your hands as flushing water. The Tiny Loft is stuffed with clever solutions for saving water and energy. I love it!
Mill Home has received 30 applications from people who want to live in the Tiny street. Residents will be selected vis-à-vis a process of cooperation between the municipality and neighbors. The houses are expected to be ready this summer. It must be so exciting for the candidates! Do you see yourself sitting there, in your garden?
Now I know there are people who think that this doesn’t fit the Tiny House movement. ‘Why in a row instead of placing them more organically?’, you might wonder. There are many different tastes and desires; that’s also true for Tiny House enthusiasts. For a lot of people designing and building their own Tiny House and finding a place to live (either temporarily or permanently) is just one bridge too far. Not everyone can handle that kind of challenge and not everyone wants to be a pioneer. But there are a lot of people that would love to live the Tiny House lifestyle nonetheless: affordable, sustainable, simple, small-scaled. Mill Home makes this dream reachable and I love that. Besides, they want to realise Tiny streets in other towns other than Hardegarijp. You can tell Mill Home through their website, if you would like to live in one of those streets, and where.
The Tiny House movement is a call for more diversity and flexibility when it comes to the range of housing. A call for houses for those people who can’t find a home that makes them happy, fits their values and matches a need for less space. The street in Hardegarijp is a step in the right direction and it helps pave the road for other Tiny House projects and other forms of housing. I’ll continue following the activities of Mill Home with great interest. Would you want to live in a street like this and where? Or if this isn’t your cup of tea, why not? I’d like to know your opinion!
This article is written in collaboration with Mill Home. Honesty and integrity are important for me. I only work together with parties I support, and I want my readers to know they can trust that I’m always writing from my heart. You can always send me a message if you have questions about this.