ICCARus (Gent knapt op) - Improving housing Conditions for CAptive Residents in Ghent
“With this project, we renovate the houses of 100 households in Ghent. Candidates will be unburdened and supported technically, financially, administrative and socially. Due to the renovations, the general quality of living of the households and of the neighbourhoods in our city are improving. By using a recurring fund, the public finance is not only used for a limited group, but can be used over and over again to fight this main urban challenge."
Ghent is suffering from a lack of affordable, qualitative housing for people with low income. In Ghent, 15.5% or 39.761 of the inhabitants live in poverty. Concerning housing, the alternatives for citizens with low income are limited. The affordable market segment for these people is shrinking quickly. They are stuck in houses that are unsafe, of poor quality, not energy-efficient and not adapted to people’s physical needs. ‘Caught’ in bad living conditions, we call these people ‘captive residents’. 10.000 households in Ghent are captive residents, which corresponds to 6.000 houses.
Without outside intervention the situation is getting worse, for these citizens, their future and the neighbourhood. So the main urban challenge is to renovate houses of captive residents. Therefore we use an innovative, integrated and tailor-made policy approach.
Our proposed solution is to renovate 100 houses of captive residents in Ghent. For each renovation we provide a starting capital of 30.000 Euro. Before, during and after the renovation process, captive residents will be unburdened and supported technically, financially, administrative and socially.
We’ll use an innovative financial instrument to make a renovation possible for this low income target group. By using a recurring fund, the public finance is not only used for a limited group, but can be used over and over again to fight this main urban challenge. This project will create, shape and optimize this financial policy instrument.
- City of Ghent
- OCMW Gent - social services provider
- KU Leuven - higher education and research institute
- UGent - higher education and research institute
- AP Hogeschool Antwerpen - higher education and research institute
- Samenlevingsopbouw Gent - NGO
- Domus Mundi - NGO
- REGent - NGO
By renovating 100 houses in Gent, 100 captive households will not be stuck in their bad housing conditions anymore, because their housing situation will be improved. All participants in the project will be empowered and will have made progress on other domains such as health, rational energy-use, social network, social-economic position, etc.
The renovation of 100 houses in socially deprived neighbourhoods will lead to more sustainability and a better energy performance in those neighourhoods. Because of the integrated approach we also improve the community and social cohesion between the citizens.
After the project period there will be created a smart, innovative and effective policy package and an operational recurring fund to tackle the bad housing conditions of captive residents in Ghent. Through research, we are developing a transferable model. It is clear which new target groups can be included in the model and we have an overview of the social return of investment.
May 2019: recruitment of the captive residents in different neighbourhoods. All preparations are made, the recurring fund and the financial management are operational.
June 2019: the feasibility study for new target groups (captive tenants, co-owners and people with disabilities or elderly people in need for home adjustments) has ended. We start with an adjusted communication strategy and guidelines.
November 2019: the first 30 captive owners are selected for a house renovation. At the same time we start with the recruitment of new target groups.
April 2020: 30 new captive owners are recruited. We start a new round of house renovations.
July 2020: the final 40 candidates are recruited (new target group) and the final round of house renovations starts.