Essential conditions for people's well-being: stable, quality housing - the CLT model

Hello to everyone !

So, this has been an intense last month. On the 26th of July I started my IVY mission for the Community Land Trust Brussels (CLTB), a very complex and incredible association that develops permanently affordable housing projects in Brussels for people with limited means, on collectively-owned lands.

The work of the Community Land Trust Brussels is not limited to the production of housing, but also extends to community work with the inhabitants, the improvement of the neighbourhoods in which it is active and the strengthening of community life. And here is where my role takes its main place.

For the last month I have been coming and going from the office of the CLTB in Brussels to one of the housing projects in the commune of Molenbeek. I have been involved with some of the projects carried on by the residents of the project, such as school support, conversation tables, maintenance of the communitary garden and vegetable patch, in between others.

Sometimes I have been there just as a support and other times I had to carry out some of the projects that are still finding some issues in their organization.

I am impressed by the amount of things I have learned and the quantity of people I have met during this month. I already live in the city of Brussels, so I am doing my IVY program in a city where I have lived for the past four years, but I have the impression that in this month I have learned to see the city differently.

As a Cultural Studies Masters student, I am also impressed by the cultural diversity I have been encountering. Brussels is in itself a multicultural city, and this project has helped me in this month to get closer to this experience, and is far beyond rewarding.

The commitment of the CLT is not only to promote accessible housing in Belgium but also to spread the CLT model beyond Brussels.

Together with European partners, they have been able to contribute to the creation of several Community Land Trusts in Europe. Then each CLT accententuates their work in different areas, but it is evident that the model is a success. The development pipeline created by the Brussels Community Land Trust ensures that a regular stream of permanently affordable homes on community-owned land will be produced for years to come.

An European cooperation to promote this housing model and support the building of cities in which all low-income people live in affordable housing should be the priorities. Stable and quality housing are essential conditions for people's well-being and I hope, as an IVY volunteer, to promote this.

I am happy to be involved in such an inspiring project and I think, the experience I will have gained by the end of the mission, will be a remarkable starting point for my professional career.

Paula Swinnen, Interreg Project Partner at "Community Land Trust Brussels", for the Interreg Project "Sustainable Housing for Inclusive and Cohesive Cities (SHICC)"

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