Housing Europe members held the November meeting of the Social Affairs Committee in Molenbeek at one of the sites where the next Community Land Trust (CLT) Brussels project is going to be developed. The delegation had the chance to be introduced to the CLT model and to discuss about the opportunities and the challenges related to it.
How does the CLT scheme work? What are the advantages behind? Why Brussels is a ‘fertile’ environment for it? Housing Europe members exchanged views with Thomas Dawance, project leader at CLT Brussels around the emerging alternatives in the affordable housing sector.
Thomas delivered a presentation introducing the model and the particularities of the housing market in Brussels, where around 50.000 families on the social housing waiting lists and almost ¼ of the population lives below the poverty line, while the prices have doubled over the last 10 years.
Thomas highlighted that the target group of the CLT Brussels mainly low class but also some middle-class households based on a set of certain criteria. What triggered an interesting debate was the financing scheme and the way it helps to regulate the prices.
The owners of the homes built in a CLT have almost the same rights of ownership that are held by the owners of deed-restricted homes. They also share the same restrictions on the use and resale of the homes, committing themselves to preserve housing affordability. In addition, the participation of the community (private non-for-profit organisations and public administrations) in the government of the CLT also ensures the engagement of the members with their surroundings. That is why the CLT model has mainly been implemented in accordance with public housing policies and neighbourhood refurbishment programs, especially in urban areas.