The Tiny House as an option for refugees

The best option of course is to have the bleeding stopped at its source. Western powers and other armies of the world coming together in a cohesive force and wiping out ISIS once and for all. European Union countries despatching humanitarian contingents with aid to the various countries (whether in Middle East or North Africa, et al.)  from where most of the refugees have come in a endless stream, to try stem some of the flow by working together with the governments of those countries.

If I accidentally cut myself and find myself bleeding away profusely, I don’t get busy trying to endlessly mop up the mess of blood pooling around my legs, because I’d eventually lose too much blood and then faint and die. I would try to bandage the wound first. But of course that makes me an idealist.

*

By now the refugee crisis in Europe have reached a staggering level, with Germany alone expected to receive 800,000 asylum applications this year, representing 1% of its population. As if that’s not bad enough, recent albeit unofficial reports put the arrivals at a higher figure. And then consider that, whatever the figure for Germany or other European countries, it still pales on a global basis because Europe apparently hosts around only 16% of refugees. It is developing countries that are hosting about 4 out of 5 refugees, according to a UN report I came across. Therefore the vast majority of refugees are suffering horribly in camps because the majority of countries generously hosting them are poor themselves and not providing adequate care to their own citizens. From this report, I read that the top 5 countries hosting the most refugees are Ethiopia at No.5 with 236,000 refugees in 2014 alone, Iran, Lebanon, Pakistan, and Turkey at No.1 with 1.2 million refugees admitted in 2014 alone.

*

I wonder if a Tiny House is a feasible option to consider for some of the refugees, for the countries that can afford to arrange this. I’ve always thought they were a great idea for the homeless in any city in the world, but I wonder if the Tiny House model could be applied on a much bigger scale for refugees now residing in tents and other camps. I got to thinking about this after watching a news segment about how the ones already in Europe are struggling to cope with the cold weather and a fast approaching winter.

Thinking out loud:

  • How low can the price of a Tiny House go? Especially if the parts are ordered on a massive scale to bring the price down?
  • If one costs $5000, building 1000 will set the government back $5 million. That’s nothing in govt. spending, but hundreds of thousands of refugees are involved here. So maybe build the first 1000 Tiny Houses and see how it goes from there?
  • And if the private sector and rich individuals get involved in chipping in to help with the cost? How many thousands more can be built?
  • Each unit would ideally house four persons, so at least 1 double bed and a futon that can be unfolded to a mattress to sleep another two.
  • The refugees themselves will be the manpower to build the houses. That’s a win for the government in cutting costs, and a win for the refugees too, regaining some dignity after having to be in such a desperate situation. Win-win.
  • The Tiny House is not just temporary housing to protect the refugees and other homeless against the elements, but should be meant to be a ‘permanent solution’ for those granted asylum status. This is bearing in mind that refugee situation can stretch into years or decades. The sooner they are settled in a warm home, learn the rules and laws of the land, learn to speak and write the language, learn the required skills to work, the sooner they can be less of a burden and contribute to the country.
  • Which means the Tiny Houses would have to be durable and should have some semblance of a real home
  • Toilets. I guess waste management will be the biggest headache in terms of cost.
  • Ikea! Get Ikea and their designers to come up with designs. And design and architectural students to come up with affordable, sustainable and durable designs.
  • Areas zoned to set up ‘villages’ of these Tiny Houses, the layout carefully planned so inhabitants can have access to community centres, schools, grocery shops, public transport, etc, that are set up to serve a cluster of villages.
  • When the infrastructure of these villages and their inhabitants have settled down in the future, option-to-buy to can come into the picture. Maybe that’s too far into the future, but I’m just thinking that hopefully some years from now, the situation with the countries at war (e.g. Syria) will have improved, with the help of the European countries affected (e.g. Germany), so that some of the refugees can return home as I’m sure many want to. No one doesn’t love their country. But for those staying, the option to buy could be looked into.

*

I’m more into ‘traditional’ designs as opposed to modern especially minimalist ones. But the following Tiny House looks beautiful.

This is an amazing video of this guy in China, Ma Yihe, President of Yingchuang New Materials, and his 3D printed houses. Somebody managing a refugee crisis centre in Europe and anywhere else need to check this out seriously to see if this can be applied to their centre. 10 houses in 24 hours?! Just in time for winter!

An interesting video about a guy and his family in America and their dream of building a Tiny House. They bought a camper, stripped that totally right to the base and started from there. It took a year and this is the journey from start to finish.

I have so much respect for this lady Jenine Alexander. Never again will I brag about sewing my own curtains. Armed with heaps of ingenuity and determination, and a lot of hard work, she built a house!

*

I have admired the Tiny House idea ever since I came across it years ago. It’s the ultimate fantasy for me when it comes to future residence. To own a small patch of land somewhere in a country like Malaysia, Italy or New Zealand, an area just small enough to have a Tiny House and a kitchen garden to grow a bit of my own herbs and vegetables. Yeah, okay, the fact that I’m shit at gardening does dent a bit the romantic fantasy bubble in my head haha, but I can always learn to be good at it.

My dream Tiny House looks something like this black beauty below

or like this

*

Related (Refugees):

Related (Tiny Houses):

Some interesting information about the Tiny House Movement in the American context, presented in this beautiful graphic from custommade.com.

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “The Tiny House as an option for refugees

    • Thanks for reading and for the feedback, my friend! I’ve been reading about it being set up to help the homeless in some places in the US which is wonderful!

    • Saya benar-benar suka cadangan anda. Saya setuju ia adalah amat sesuai dan selesa. Perbelanjaan boleh direndahkan lagi kalau reka bentuk setiap rumah lebih minimalis. Rumah berbentuk sedemikian juga cantik dan akan memberi suasana yang lebih menarik kepada kawasan perkampungan.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s