Brussels Capital RegionHousing
CALICO - Care and Living in Community
"CLT housing is more than just housing, it is an opportunity for meeting and collaborative construction between different actors in society, namely, tenant households, CLT representatives, the voluntary sector and public authorities. In this sense, the Community Land Trust makes it possible to recreate links within neighbourhoods and more broadly within society. While providing housing for low-income households, the CALICO project rewarded today includes an intergenerational component as well as an intercultural component with a particular focus on the gender dimension. No doubt, it is also a way of strengthening democracy through participation. I am convinced that the way housing is produced by public authorities and their partners must be able to evolve to meet the new challenges and expectations of society"
The main urban challenge is the housing crisis of the Brussels-Capital Region (BCR).
- Lack of social housing: in 2015 there were as many households on the waiting list as there were social housing units. The waiting period reaches up to ten years.
- Low quality housing: many dwellings lack basic facilities.
- Increase in real estate prices and rent: rents and property prices have on average doubled in the last ten years.
A second challenge is the housing situation and the quality of life of specific vulnerable groups.
- Ageing population: Inadequate homes form a risk for the health, wellbeing, and the independence of older people. In addition, there is a scarce variety in residential options available for them.
- Women, particularly older women, face a higher risk of social isolation and poverty because of low pensions (average pension for women is €998), part-time work (81% of those working part-time in Brussels are women), and single revenues (83% of single parent families are women).
- Migrants and low-income families experience several challenges in the housing market.
- These vulnerable groups are often excluded from decision-making processes within the public sphere.
The final challenge is the paradigm shift in which care for people in need becomes less institutionalised, and increasingly becomes the responsibility of civil society.
A pilot project providing 33 homes will be developed. CLTB will buy the land and the common parts of the building. By taking this cost out of the equation, both affordable owner-occupied homes as well as social rental apartments will be provided. The CLT resale mechanism guarantees that these houses will remain affordable, generation after generation.
The homes will be organized in three community-led cohousing clusters. Each of the clusters will focus on vulnerable groups, thus addressing their housing situation. One cluster will target (older) women and single family mothers. The two other clusters will take an intergenerational approach, with the majority of units reserved for older adults and low-income families. The project aims to empower these groups by involving them during the different steps of the project.
It also aims to develop a community-led model of care that reinforces the autonomy of those in need of support, integrated in an intergenerational, intercultural context. Furthermore, an accommodation for birth- and end-of-life in a homelike environment, open to the wider community, will be at the heart of one of the cohousing clusters.
By bringing different population groups and different functions together in the same project, and by strengthening social cohesion, both within the project and within the neighbourhood, CALICO will investigate a new model of housing policy. By closely monitoring the project and by involving a wide range of stakeholders, the results will be sustainable beyond the time-frame of the project.
- Brussels Capital Region
- Municipality of Forest - Local Public Authority
- Public Center for Social Welfare of the Municipality of Forest - Local Public Authority
- Perspective.brussels (Brussels Planning Agency) - Regional public Authority
- Community Land Trust and its sister organisation: Community Land Trust Brussels;
- Public Utility Foundation Community Land Trust Brussels;
- 4 Interest Group Logement pour Tous - Interest Group
- AngelaD - Interest Group
- Pass-ages - Interest Group
- EVA - Interest Group
- Vrije Universiteit Brussel - Higher Education and Research Institute
In total, the project will accommodate 80 people, living in 33 homes. 25 of these households (in total 65 people) will have a low to modest income. In the AngelaD cluster, priority will be given to housing women. At least 50% of the households will be seniors (people over 55 years). More than 60% of the residents will have a migration background. They will improve the affordability and quality of their housing situation. They will also increase their quality of life and sense of wellbeing, and will build supportive relationships with one another. They will be empowered in their level of self-care and will be stimulated to provide informal care and support to others.
They will sharpen their intergenerational, intercultural competences, reach a wider target group, and gain insights in participatory social-action methodology.
Beyond the project
Professional care organisations will integrate the concept of community care into their organisations and recognize the added value of integrating ‘birth’ and ‘end of life’ facilities where users can conceive, give birth in a natural way or spend their last days. 150 births and 30 deaths a year will happen in this benevolent environment. This new model of co-living will inspire the Brussels-Capital Region to develop similar projects in the future.
March 2019: Allocation criteria for future residents are defined and a kick-off event with stakeholders is organised. The reflection on the co-creation of a community care model is launched.
June 2019: Groups of future residents of each of the three clusters are constituted.
December 2019: The architectural design of and the governance charter for the project are co-created and endorsed by all future residents.
March 2020: Residents and clusters acquire their future homes and spaces.
June 2020: Trainings on energy use and property management of future residents are completed.
March 2021: Completion of construction works of the building.
April 2021: Inauguration of the project. Residents move into their new accommodation. Birth and end-of-life facility welcomes its first users.
October 2021: Final assessment of the project. The final conference is the opportunity to take stock with all involved stakeholders.