What is the
CALICO Project?

An innovative project developing 34 houses with numerous advantages

Living Intergenerational
and socially mixed

CLT housing is more than just housing!

It is an opportunity for meeting and cooperation between different actors in society, namely tenant families, CLT representatives, the voluntary sector and the government.

The CALICO project, awarded today, includes both an intergenerational and an intercultural component with a particular attention to the gender dimension, while providing housing for low-income families.

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CALICO is a Community Land Trust building. This model ensures the sustainability of its accessibility by removing the land from the market.

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Life cycles

CALICO integrates a birth home and a death home, offering the possibility for people to come into and leave the world in a familiar environment.

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CALICO will be open and integrated into the neighbourhood, with a shared space and a community garden within the housing estate.

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CALICO will ensure a mix between generations within its habitat.

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CALICO will set up a system of mutualised care within its habitat.

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CALICO integrates the gender perspective into the whole project.


CLTs (Community Land Trust) are organisations that acquire land to manage it as a common good, together and in the interest of the community. The system has existed since the 1970s in the United States. CLTs can take many different forms, but some basic principles remain unchanged: ownership of land is separated from ownership of buildings, allowing low-income households to buy housing at a price lower than the market price, and the price of housing remains affordable for future generations, thanks to a ceiling price on resale.

The CLT of Brussels (CLTB) exists since 2012. As the first CLT in continental Europe and co-coordinator of CALICO with the Brussels-Capital Region, it has been internationally recognised as a pioneer in the field and has twice been financed by the European Union for innovative projects. By using housing as a means of integrating populations in difficulty, he involves his candidate-owners at every stage of housing production, with a view to empowerment and social cohesion.

The concept of “dying”, developed by the psychologist and psychotherapist Lydia Müller, seeks to inscribe death and mourning in the process of life, as part of a cycle and not an end. The integration within CALICO of a birthing and dying home will provide adequate spaces for people who wish to give birth or die in an empathetic and familiar environment. Integrated within the home, they will be coordinated by the Pass-ages partner. The aim of this association is to create a caring living space in Brussels, open to its environment, designed to welcome anyone who wishes to experience these “passages of life” naturally, in harmony and in connection, accompanied by professionals and volunteers.

In terms of precariousness, gender is an aggravating factor, and this mechanically impacts on women’s access to housing. In Belgium, the gender pay gap is 21% while the pension gap is 26%. Moreover, 80% of parents raising children alone are women. This increased poverty is compounded by various gender-based factors of discrimination in access to housing, which partly explains the fact that the number of women experiencing homelessness almost tripled between 2002 and 2011 (Lelubre, 2012). Angela D is CALICO’s partner association responsible for putting gender issues at the centre of shared housing through awareness-raising and training on gender equality issues.

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The EVAbxl association, accompanied by the VUB and the housing partners, will be in charge of integrating care into housing via a series of interactions between volunteers and professionals from the medical world. Care, a term with no equivalent in French, characterises a relationship of assistance, whether family or professional; it refers both to the activity of caring for a person who depends on it and to the concern for the reception of this care, its singularity lying in this sharp combination of technical and emotional skills. It is a way of caring for the other person that takes into account the whole person. The care will be integrated in a mutualised and comprehensive way within the home.

The ageing of the population is a phenomenon that affects Belgium as much as its neighbours. The risk of isolation of older people increases as society becomes more individualised, and their meagre income rarely gives them the opportunity to live in affordable and suitable housing. All generations are represented in the housing stock. Older people have access to affordable housing and, if they wish, are surrounded by people who actively participate in the life of the home according to their skills. The younger generations are happy to benefit from the presence and transmission of the seniors.

With a space open to local initiatives and projects designed with the neighbourhood, CALICO will be a fully-fledged player in the local urban fabric. The VUB University is responsible for analysing the success of the project. As a centre of expertise and initiator of the development strategy for the Brussels area, Perspective.brussels is contributing its expertise to the CALICO project via the Housing Referent.

In CALICO, twenty flats will be purchased and financed by two cooperatives managed by the partners who will then rent them out to future owners. The flats in Pass-ages will be purchased by a cooperative set up and managed by their inhabitants. The flats in Angela.D will become the property of the investment cooperative “Common Ground”, initiated by several Brussels associations. Most of the flats will be made available at a social rate thanks to the intervention of the Social Real Estate Agency “Logements pour Tous”. The land will remain the property of the CLTB Public Utility Foundation, which will guarantee that the anti-speculative clauses will be maintained for all these housing units. This model makes it possible to strengthen participatory governance for rental housing and to place the use of SIAs and private finance within the framework of a control of perpetual socialisation of housing.

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CAre and LIving in COmmuniy

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Mutual Aid & Culture

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Most important

October 2021

Final assessment of the project. The final conference is the opportunity to take stock with all parties involved.

Summer 2021

Inauguration of the project. Residents take up residence in their new home. Birth and end-of-year facilities welcome the first users.

December 2020

Completion of construction work on the building.

June 2020

Trainings on energy use and property management of future residents completed.

November 2019

Groups of future residents are formed from each of the three clusters.

October 2019

The allocation criteria for the housing units will be determined.

March 2019

A kick-off event with stakeholders will be organized. The reflection on the co-creation of a community care model is launched.


CALICO is an inclusive and participatory project: the inhabitants are an integral part of the decision-making process thanks to the various decision-making committees.
Among the committees in which the inhabitants meet to decide on their future within CALICO are:

  • The governance committee, a place for consultation and coordination between the 3 habitats in order to agree on the decision-making methods between the inhabitants and to define the governance structures, including for the future of the habitat.
  • The care committee, in charge of setting up care within the housing estate.

Construction summary

There are plans to set up :

  • The festival committee, responsible for organising events by and for the residents.
  • The garden committee, in charge of the management of the shared garden of the habitat.

The days of the 34 families of CALICO are the central meeting and decision-making body for the future inhabitants of CALICO. The days of the 34 families of CALICO are the place where the inhabitants meet, organise and dream together about their future habitat.