Housing is a basic human right. A decent, affordable home is a condition for leading a dignified life. Yet many Brussels residents no longer have access to this.
Community Land Trust Brussels wants to do something about
this. Based on a model that has proven its success in the United States over several decades, we have developed an alternative system that keeps price increases under control. The innovative Community Land Trust (CLT) model realises permanently affordable owner-occupied homes for people with a low income. We give our residents a central role in the development and management of these homes. We empower residents and work towards resilient and multicultural communities. As pioneers of the European CLT movement, we want to play an active role in spreading this model, in Brussels, Belgium and Europe, to build more equitable, inclusive and sustainable cities.
Community Land Trust Brussels develops permanently affordable housing for low-income individuals. The land remains the property of the community, whereas the housing constructed on the land is sold to the public according to a pricing system adapted to income. Eventually, the owners
can resell their apartment, but at a capped resale price. The investments remain tied to the land and thus benefit numerous generations.
Current owners allocate on average 28% of their income towards their loan repayments.
4 community infrastructures
The CLTB projects include 4 community spaces: 2 association spaces, a place of connection for the neighbourhood and a community space for the inhabitants
86% of CLTB housing owners consider their neighbourhood pleasant
Community Land Trust Brussels not only builds housing, but also builds strong communities. Residents are involved in the conception and the management of housing projects. CLTB supports them in the process so that they can then manage their housing independently. Community Land Trust Brussels also collaborates with local organisations so that our projects respond to the needs of the neighbourhood, by integrating
community infrastructure in the projects. Lastly, with the residents, CLTB develops social projects, such as after-school tutoring or bicycle training.
Community Land Trust Brussels counts 1641 members (applicant homeowners, owners and supporters)
64% of households living in CLTB housing are single-parent households.
Support provided by CLTB for residents was well received, with 89% satisfaction
“It is a pride to represent the seven households of le Nid
as well as the residents of the other CLTB projects at the Administration Council. I try to carry the voice of the residents, who are not always heard. But, during the meetings, each has the right to speak and to respect. I can freely say ‘Ah no, that does not work like that’ … I hope that the Community Land Trust model will expand, that can only be a good thing. I am conscient of the opportunity that I have had and I know underprivileged people who would like to have their own home. If I can give back, what more can I want?”
Tsevi, “Le Nid” project resident and member of the Administration Council
“I still remember very well the first meeting of the Arc-en-Ciel group… A feeling of joy and anxiety at the same time! I learned that there would be about thirty families. But I was also happy about the way it was presented, especially the fact that I could get to know the neighbours before living in the project, which reassured me. I introduced myself to the group, everyone welcomed me. There were no barriers. What excites me about the CLTB is the social aspect. And then, of course, the affordable housing. Today, it is impossible to buy a flat without savings or a substantial income.”
Massjandé, resident of the Arc-en-Ciel project.
The CLT model is a “model kit” with foundational elements that can be assembled indifferent ways, according to the local situation. Since its creation in the 70s in the United States, 500 to 600 CLTs have been created worldwide. Community Land Trust Brussels, the first CLT in Europe, actively participates in the expansion of the CLT model. We provide our experience and our expertise to existing and emerging CLTs.
3 political documents
In 2020, CLTB is quoted or has participated in the writing of 3 policy documents: “Le Plan d’Urgence Logement” (Brussels), Le Comité Scientifique Logement (Brussels) and the “Report on access to decent and affordable housing for all” (European Parliament).
The CLTB develops its activities through numerous partnerships. We would like to thank all of our partners, whether they are involved in the implementation of our projects on a daily basis, whether they have supported us since the creation of the CLTB or whether they have joined our movement more recently.
It is time to build a city in common. It is time to make affordable housing a reality for all. Support our actions.
Would your company or organisation like to set up an action for the benefit of Community Land Trust Brussels? Contact Geert de Pauw (coordinator).