match houses

develop yourself, make a difference and live for free!

A community garden, a language café, sports activities with children – whatever you like, in this project you can make it happen.

In the Match Houses you work 8 hours a week to connect people in your neighborhood. You set up your own project together with your housemates and fellow residents. You meet with welfare organizations or join one of the many volunteer initiatives in your neighborhood. You use 1 hour per week to share your experiences on our dashboard and instagram. 

We are looking for students who:

  • Speak Dutch
  • Can commit 8 hours per week
  • Are available for a full academic year
  • Want to use their experience and knowledge to connect their neighborhood

This is what you get from us:

  • An opportunity to develop yourself alongside your studies and make a social contribution
  • Flexible working hours
  • Group and individual coaching (hello personal development!)
  • Great discount on your rent! You don’t pay rent. You only pay gas, water, electricity, internet and taxes.

The team for 2022-2023 is now complete. If you apply, you will be contacted when new places are available. 

the project, in short

  • Live for free – you don’t pay rent, only service costs such as electricity, gas, water, internet and taxes
  • Have a social impact in your neighbourhood
  • Freedom to design your own social impact
  • Get challenged and gain real-world experience in making a change
  • Our coaches help you learn and grow

frequently asked questions

What kind of house can I expect?
We have two types. The first are houses that will be demolished or renovated in the coming years. So take in mind that these are not the newest houses and that there can be some deficiencies. Of course, the general state will be in order and livable. You will have more space in these houses than in other student houses but the houses will be older. The second type are rooms in student complexes. Here you have an individual unit where you share kitchen, toilet and bathroom with one or two other students (not necessarily your teammates). These rooms are modern, in good state and with good facilities.

Are the houses furnished?
Expect the house not to be furnished. However, if another team was there in the year before, the house can be (partially) furnished.

What are the costs?
You pay for your electricity, gas, water, internet and municipal taxes. You normally share these costs with your team of at least two, maximum four people. We estimate that these costs are around 75 – 125 euro, depending on your contracts, houses, use and team size.

Do I need to speak Dutch?
Your main responsibility in this project is to connect to your (Dutch) neighbours. So yes, language proficiency is a requirement and something we evaluate. In the past there were also non-Dutch speaking students at Match Houses. Due to this language barrier the Dutch speaking students experienced more work pressure. In addition, getting in touch with the neighborhood is also more difficult which defeats the purpose of the match houses.

Can I stay for less than a year?
Building relationships with neighbours takes time. This means that one year is the minimum for participating in the project, and if you can stay longer this is a strong plus.

How does the selection process work?
Our selection process is focused on getting to know as well as possible who you are. If we think based on your application that you fit the project, we will invite you for a 30-45 minute phone call. If the evaluation of this phone call is positive, we invite you for a two hour face to face conversation. If you are unable to come to Maastricht (or if you cannot meet due to corona) we can do this meeting via a video call. After this conversation, we let you know if you have been selected.

The selection procedure will be as follows:

  • Introductory phone call (approximately 30 minutes). 
  • Job interview (approximately 2 hours). Based on this we decide the final selection.

If you apply for the academic year 2021/2022 and you are among the final selection, then:

  • There is a team selection day at 27th of July. You will select your team during this day. Please keep this date free.
  • You can move into your house in August.
  • The project will start in September.

How will I be matched to housemates?
There will be a team selection day at the 27th of July. Here you will meet all the other participants. You will get to know each other through conversations and cooperative activities. After this day, you can tell your preference regarding teammates. We will match you as well as possible. Take in mind that with matching like this there is a chance you do not get all your preferences.

Can I choose the house I want?
No, but you do have influence. After your team has been created, you can give a preference as a team which houses you like most. We then try to match you according to your preference. We have seen that selecting the right people to work and live with are more important than getting your most preferred house, that is why we prioritize selecting your teammates above selecting your house.

Can I do a part-time job next to being part of the houses project?
In our experience it is not possible to your study, Match Houses and a part-time job all at the same time.

Can I participate in the project with my friends? 
You apply individually. You will work in a team of three students. Do you want to apply together with your friends? Send in your own applications and notify us that you would like to live/work together under ‘verdere info’. 

our partners in this project


If you have any further questions, you can contact Shanti.

initiatiefneemster maakt plannen voor ecodorpen en tiny houses

Shanti van Hout, project coordinator