Factory Village/Company Town: Yesterday’s Housing Solution A Useful Path To Tomorrow?

exterior of two rows of two storey terraced houses separated by a paved court where there are bikes and flowers in planter boxes
Homes in the Netherlands - a scarce commodity.

Housing? ‘Not our problem.’

That’s increasingly an employer’s answer in many countries today.

Prospective employers find it profitable to put housing responsibilities on the shoulders of their employees. But what happens when potential employees find it impossible to cope with ever-rising local housing prices? En Mass? It can produce not just bitter acquiescence, but actual labour unrest1.

In the Netherlands, much-needed workers increasingly cannot find any place to live near enough to attractive jobs on offer. As a result, prospective employees are not alone in suffering the lack of affordable housing. So are their prospective employers.

With both parties — employers AND prospective employees — facing the burdens of a housing crisis, are there alternatives that might satisfy both parties? Historically, the answer is ‘yes,’ though it has been many years since effective remedies have included substantial investment from employers.

And those events played out in an earlier era without the disruption from what is currently a whole other class of businessmen. They are neither interested in employee welfare nor in employer profits. Their financial interests are in profiting from the purchase and sale of housing itself. Read more in theMAYOR:  Housing shortage in the Netherlands negatively affects the local job market


  1. Try: Tomorrow’s Next Peasant Revolt? Okay, Maybe Not ‘Til The Day After