CALICO, «CAre and LIving in COmmunity», is an inter-generational and socially diverse co-housing project built in interaction with its neighbourhood.
The CALICO project was developed by the Community Land Trust Brussels (CLTB). This association, which was founded in 2012 with the support of the Brussels Government, works to improve access to housing and property for everyone. The CLTB, Housing Brussels and their partners set up the CALICO project to create a new type of intergenerational and multicultural group housing.The pilot project consists of 43 dwellings to be built in the municipality of Forest. It will target certain social groups in particular, single mothers, the elderly and low-income families. The development of this new housing is founded on a participatory and inclusive approach. The CALICO project will offer services from birth to the end of life, as well as mutual support by the residents. The UIA initiative allocated a grant of 5 million euros to the project. While providing housing for low-income households, the CALICO project rewarded today includes an intergenerational component as well as an intercultural component with a particular focus on the gender dimension.
A pilot project providing 34 homes will be developed. CLTB will buy the land and the common parts of the building. By taking this cost out of the equation, both affordable owner-occupied homes as well as social rental apartments will be provided. The CLT resale mechanism guarantees that these houses will remain affordable, generation after generation. The homes will be organised in three community-led cohousing clusters. Each of the clusters will focus on vulnerable groups, thus addressing their housing situation. One cluster will target (older) women and single family mothers. The two other clusters will take an intergenerational approach, with a significant proportion of units reserved for older adults and low-income families.
The main urban challenge is the housing crisis of the Brussels-Capital Region (BCR).
A second challenge is the housing situation and the quality of life of specific vulnerable groups.
The final challenge is the paradigm shift in which care for people in need becomes less institutionalised, and increasingly becomes the responsibility of civil society.
The project aims to empower the targeted groups by involving them during the different steps of the project. It also aims to develop a community-led model of care that reinforces the autonomy of those in need of support, integrated in an intergenerational, intercultural context. Furthermore, an accommodation for birth- and end-of-life in a homelike environment, open to the wider community, will be at the heart of one of the cohousing clusters. By bringing different population groups and different functions together in the same project, and by strengthening social cohesion, both within the project and within the neighbourhood, CALICO will investigate a new model of housing policy. By closely monitoring the project and by involving a wide range of stakeholders, the results will be sustainable beyond the time-frame of the project.