Urban Alternatives is launched by a collaboration of different actors which are united in their efforts to create a more democratic, just and sustainable world. This map seeks to highlight initiatives that work towards this goal. Proposal for initiatives not listed yet can be made directly on the website. This process is open to new collaborations.


Community Land Trust

Inclusive Housing & Public Space

What challenges did this initiative look to address?

Between 2000 and 2010, Brussels was struck by a serious housing crisis: a glaring shortage of social housing, doubling housing prices in ten years, buildings that do not comply with health rules, persistent homelessness, etc. Faced with this situation, innovation is needed in the areas of housing and neighbourhood development to build alternative systems that provide permanently affordable housing solutions for all. Associations, citizens and activists meet to elaborate a concrete and sustainable response to the housing crisis, while taking into account the multicultural aspect that characterizes Brussels. This is how they discovered the Community Land Trust model, consisting in:

1) The separation of land and buildings:
2) The perpetual maintenance of accessible assets for the lowest incomes:
3) Tripartite management: Board of Directors is composed fairly by CLTB residents, representatives of public authorities, and representatives of civil society (residents, partner associations, sympathisers, etc.).

What has changed?

By limiting the sale price of housing and subsequently capping the resale price through anti-speculative clauses, CLTB offers quality housing that remains affordable, generation after generation. As a result, it offers communities working with it an alternative to property price inflation.

By closely involving the inhabitants or future inhabitants in the development of the projects and its organisation, CLTB wishes to encourage their emancipation and enable them to make their voice heard in the development of the city.

By producing spaces that meet the needs of the neighbourhood, CLTB contributes to the social cohesion of the neighbourhoods in which it is active and to the development of the local economy.

How did it happen?

CLTB ensures that the interests of all stakeholders in its development are represented on its Board of Directors. This is why it is composed equally of inhabitants, residents and civil society, and representatives of the public authorities (at different levels). In addition, several local and city-wide organizations support the initiative. Informal social connections as well as access to resources and financing from the Brussels Regional Government are key to explain the initiative's success so far. CLTB believes that its action cannot be limited to housing production, but must extend to empowering its beneficiaries, improving the territories in which it is active and strengthening social cohesion. By providing affordable community-led housing, CLTB is contributing to the construction of an alternative model that can replace the current neoliberal one.