Mini-houses in Basel seen as future of housing in Switzerland
A company in Basel Land has proposed the construction of 100 tiny houses in Liestal to ease the demand for housing in Swiss cities.
Mini-houses becoming increasingly popular in Switzerland
The property company Sitex Group has planned for the houses to be constructed as a “pioneer settlement” in Switzerland, with prices starting at 200.000 Swiss francs. Initially started in America, the concept of a “mini-house or tiny house" (a dwelling of no more than 40 square metres) has caught on with younger generations who have financially struggled to buy a house.
“While most people used to strive for large houses with a lot of space, today many want to downsize,” said the developer of the Liestal site, Hans-Jörg Fankhauser. He said that the houses would take two years to complete and hoped that the project would encourage the younger generation to get onto the housing ladder with mortgages at a lower cost.
The new project has also caught the eye of the government, with the cantonal council and the city of Basel agreeing to the new plans. Head of the council, Katja Christ, demanded that the project be found a possible area to settle within Basel Stadt instead of its current location in Basel Land, which is outside the main city.
Bureaucracy is the main issue with Swiss tiny houses
While the project has received support from political leaders, head of the Kleinwohnformen association Jonas Bischofberger noted that the main issue tiny-houses face in Switzerland is that investors “get lost in the bureaucracy jungle and give up on their dream.” This is not uncommon, as Swiss law treats mini-houses as a "grey area," meaning that it is challenging to get certain types of housing approved.
Tiny-house projects are not a new phenomenon in Switzerland, with one homeowner being evicted from their mini-home in Canton Aargau in 2018. It is hoped by the association that their project will be legal and approved so that families looking for a house in Switzerland have a newer, smaller option to choose from.