I’m Emilie, I’m from France and I was in Czech Republic as a volunteer before I arrived in Brussels. I’m now volunteering for the Community Land Trust with Interreg since October. I live in the European Center of the city, together with many people from all over Europe. It’s really interesting to exchange with them, in English of course, about our culture, our daily life, what do we expect for the future…
I will be living in Brussels for six months. I enjoy my life in Belgium because I can travel a lot without spending so much time in the public transport. I visited Gent, Louvain, Namur and some part of Brussels of course. I have some plans to visit Ostende, Bruges and Tournai and I will go to Les Ardennes soon. I’m not so far away from France too, so I can visit some part of my own country close to the Belgium border more easy, like Lille for example.
Gent, Belgium, November 2018
What is the Community Land Trust Brussels ?
This is an organization for people from low and middle classes who are becoming the owners of the property and take part in the life of the community. After the 2008-crisis, prices for accomodations increased too much in Brussels. Some people need to wait for 10 years in a social-list to be accepted in decent places where they can live with their families. In Brussels, paying a rent for 30 years is more expensive than buying the property. Therefore the CLTB buys unused pieces of land or old places, takes care of renovations and constructions and proposes its members to buy a flat, without any speculation. So, members are the owner of a flat and the Community Land Trust continues to be the owner of the land. At the same time, CLTB proposes some partnerships between a social organization of credits, some architects, different other social organizations and the members to reflect together on how to build community places with low energy and good material for everybody. There are several CLTs in the world, as for example in the USA or in the UK for example.
What am I doing in the CLTB?
I’m helping to realize some exchanges between members of this organization in differents points:
Meeting people to get to know more about them, theirs needs and their skills.
Coordinate a temporary occupation place with different organizations to organize the inauguration in March, after some renovations.
Write articles about the events from CLTB for the newsletter and the website.
Assist a working group with the preparation of the next General Assembly.
In November, I went to Liverpool with a part of CLTB’s team for a peer-to-peer exchange. It was really impressive and interesting to deeply understand their system, how they work, some differences between the English and Belgium legislation, their goals, their needs, their propositions…
Renovation in Liverpool with CLT, November 2018
If you want to have more information about CLTB, you can have a look at their website: https://cltb.be/fr/.
Maybe you’ll enjoy my articles. See you soon with fries, a waffle and a good beer!