The CALICO housing project is located in a residential area in Forest next to Place Saint-Denis, Abbaye de Forest and Parc Duden. The building is located less than 300 metres away from the Châtaignes tram stop, 900 metres from the Forest train station and 1.5 km from the Gare du Midi train station.
Launched in November 2018 with funding from the European Union’s Urban Innovative Actions initiative, the CALICO project has entered the year of its move-in in 2021. All the residents, divided between CLTB, Pass-ages and Angela.D spaces, will be moved-in in October 2021. The community space is currently occupied by the association Rézone in order to create a “place of connections.” The birthing home and end-of-life home will be operational in 2022.
The involvement of CALICO residents will be more important than in other CLTB buildings. The values of mutual assistance, gender equality, and care for others are fundamental to the whole of the project.
Rue du Delta, 1190 Forest
Client: Belgian Land
Architects: Urban Platform
Construction company: Herpain
CALICO is a building on a Community Land Trust land. This model ensures its long-term accessibility by removing the land from the market.
CALICO includes a birth home and a death home, offering people the chance to come into the world and leave it in familiar surroundings.
CALICO is open and integrated into the neighbourhood, with a shared space and a community garden within the building itself.
CALICO ensures a mix of generations in its homes.
CALICO is setting up a shared care system within its housing estate.
CALICO integrates the gender perspective throughout the project.
CLTs (Community Land Trusts) are organisations that acquire land in order to manage it as a common good, together and in the interests of the community. The system has existed in the United States since the 1970s. CLTs can take many different forms, but certain basic principles remain unchanged: ownership of the land is separated from the building, enabling low-income households to buy a home at a lower price than the market price, and the price of the homes remains affordable for future generations, thanks to a limit on the resale price.
The Brussels CLT (CLTB) exists since 2012. The first CLT in continental Europe and co-coordinator of CALICO with the Brussels-Capital Region, it has been internationally recognised as a pioneer in the field and twice funded by the European Union for innovative projects. By using housing as a means of integrating populations in difficulty, it involves its candidate-owners at every stage of the housing production process, with a view to empowerment and social cohesion.
The concept of ” mourance “, developed by the psychologist and psychotherapist Lydia Müller, seeks to make death and bereavement part of the life process, as part of a cycle and not an end. The integration within CALICO of a birthing centre and a dying centre provides suitable spaces for people who wish to give birth or die in an empathetic and familiar environment. Integrated into the home, they are coordinated by our partner Pass-ages. The aim of this association is to create a caring living space in Brussels that is open to its surroundings and designed to welcome anyone who wishes to experience these ‘passages of life’ naturally, in harmony and in connection, accompanied by professionals and volunteers.
In terms of vulnerability, gender is an aggravating factor, and this automatically has an impact on women’s access to housing. In Belgium, the gender pay gap is 21%, while the pension gap is 26%. What’s more, 80% of parents bringing up children alone are women. This increased poverty is compounded by various gendered factors of discrimination in access to housing, which partly explain why the number of women experiencing homelessness almost tripled between 2002 and 2011 (Lelubre, 2012). Angela.D is CALICO’s partner association responsible for putting gender issues at the heart of shared housing through awareness-raising and training initiatives on gender equality issues.
With its 1.2 million inhabitants, Brussels is a metropolis open to the world thanks to its status as European capital, its multi-cultural nature and its central position at the heart of North-West Europe.
Like many large European cities, Brussels is experiencing difficulties in terms of access to housing. These difficulties mainly affect the most vulnerable social classes, such as women, the elderly, low-income families and migrants. They often have to spend more than 60% of their budget on housing.
One of the particularities of Brussels is that it is a young city with one of the highest demographic growth rates in Europe over the last 20 years. But Brussels, like the rest of Europe, is also faced with an ageing population. New specific needs are emerging, particularly in terms of care. Innovative approaches are needed to make people more independent in their own homes and to develop solidarity between generations.
To address these issues in an integrated way, public authorities, associations and Brussels universities are working together on the CALICO (CAre and LIiving in COmmunity) project.
The EVAbxl association, supported by the VUB and housing partners, is responsible for integrating care into housing through a series of interactions between volunteers and medical professionals. Care, a term without equivalent in French, characterises a relationship of assistance, whether family or professional; it designates both the activity of caring for a person who is dependent on it and the concern for receiving that care, its uniqueness residing in this sharp combination of technical and emotional skills. It is a way of taking care of the other person that takes into account the whole person. Care will be integrated into the home in a shared and comprehensive way.
The ageing of the population is a phenomenon that affects Belgium as much as its neighbours. The risk of isolation among the elderly is increasing as society becomes more individualised, and their meagre incomes rarely allow them to live in affordable, suitable accommodation. All generations are represented in housing. Seniors have access to affordable housing and, if they so wish, are looked after while taking an active part in the life of the home according to their skills. Younger people are able to enjoy the presence of their elders and learn from them.
With a space open to local initiatives and projects designed with the neighbourhood, CALICO will be a fully-fledged player in the local urban fabric. VUB University is responsible for analysing the success of the project. As a centre of expertise and initiator of the development strategy for the Brussels area, perspective.brussels is contributing its expertise to the CALICO project via the Housing Referent.
In CALICO, 20 flats are purchased and financed by two cooperatives managed by the partners, who will then rent them out to future owners. The Pass-ages flats were purchased by a cooperative set up and managed by their residents. The Angela.D flats are owned by Fair Ground Brussels, a cooperative set up by a number of Brussels associations. Most of the flats are made available at a social rate thanks to the intervention of the social housing agency Logements pour Tous. The land remains the property of the Fondation d’Utilité Publique CLTB, which will guarantee that the anti-speculation clauses will be maintained for all these homes. This model makes it possible to strengthen participative governance for rental housing and to include the use of AISs and private finance within the framework of the perpetual socialisation of housing.