$900 a month snags you an entire portable house in Amsterdam

Rome wasn’t built in a day, but these houses were. A real estate developer in Amsterdam, Heijmans, wanted to make affordable homes for young people just starting out. They came up with one-bedroom houses that are easy to set up and take down.

The temporary nature of the structures, called Heijmans ONE, is intentional, because they’ll be squatting on vacant lots. “By placing Heijmans ONE houses on these plots for temporary use, the landowner gets residents to guard the land, and a positive image for free. Because of this, we don’t have to pay any fee for using this land, which would be vacant anyway — and that helps us keep the rent for the homes low,” project leader Anneke Timmermans tells Fast Company.

There’s very little new construction happening in the city, due to the financial crisis, so many lots have been standing empty. Heijmans thinks the temporary homes will bring a little life to the lonely lots. It’s a win-win, according to the company, because vacant areas become revitalized, while recent college grads benefit from a break on rent. For 700 euros a month (about $900), young professionals receive a kitchen, bathroom, living room, second-story bedroom, and patio. The same price in the current Amsterdam rental market will only hook you a 170-square-foot attic apartment.

Solar panels power the wooden homes, and Heijmans wants to make them even more self-sustaining.

Right now, the company has two prototypes and is conducting a trial run in one of them. After gathering feedback from the tenant, they will build another thirty homes in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Den Bosch.

Heijmans may then bring the homes to other countries, though we wonder how well the structure would hold up in some U.S. locations; Amsterdam is positively temperate compared to Minnesota winters, for example.

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