Tiny houses: Searching for a place in a tight housing market. A case study on tiny houses in Rotterdam

Thumbnail Image
Issue Date
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The tiny house movement is growing in appeal in America and Australia. Although tiny houses are already established, there are problems with the localization and the fitting in within the institutional frameworks. The movement has also taken root in the Netherlands, which requires research into these themes in a Dutch context. In 2017, the municipality of Rotterdam was commissioned to designate one or more tiny house locations within the municipal boundaries. This was the reason to explore how tiny houses and the associated challenges relate to this in a Dutch municipality. The following central research question has been formulated: "Which aspects influence the demand and possibilities for the construction of tiny houses and their locations within the institutional context of Rotterdam?" To answer this question, it was explored how tiny houses fit into the housing policy framework that applies in Rotterdam. Subsequently, it was explored what the preferences are for tiny house features and their locations among people who want to live with a tiny house in Rotterdam. Finally, the opportunities and barriers of the different ways of land search and acquisitions were investigated for tiny houses. Answers to these questions were made possible by conducting a case study in combination with desk research. Various methods of data collection were used, both quantitative and qualitative. First of all, a questionnaire was conducted among people who want to live with a tiny house in Rotterdam, which asked about the preferences in tiny house features and their locations. In addition, people who already live with a tiny house at a different location in the Netherlands and who have therefore already gone through the entire process of searching for land were interviewed. Finally, officials from the municipality of Rotterdam were interviewed, in combination with content analysis, in this way the integration of tiny houses in the institutional context could be clarified. The results of this research show that there are few very context-specific aspects that influence the construction of tiny houses in Rotterdam. The housing and restructuring task in particular constitutes competition on the land market. In addition, the municipality has a surplus of small (low quality) houses. On the other hand, are the characteristics that offer opportunities for tiny houses. First, the quality policy for small homes is being updated, allowing smaller living areas. Finally, the unique flat roof landscape and the presence of harbours make tiny houses on roofs and water an option.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen