Brussels, Belgium

CALICO “CAre and LIving in COmmunity” (Urban Innovative Actions Project)

‘CAre and LIving in COmmunity’ (CALICO) is an intergenerational and socially diverse community-led cohousing project.

The project boasts 34 new dwellings organized in three clusters:

  • The “Gender” cluster rents housing to older women and single mothers;
  • The "Community Land Trust" cluster offers dwellings to low-income families and to older people (+55yrs) unable to obtain mortgages, and to people at risk of homelessness;
  • The "Care" cluster consists of intergenerational housing to accommodate people from all phases of life.

Future residents will be organized into care groups to establish a community-based model of care. Ultimately, this project could start a paradigm shift where care is organized within local communities. 

Two communal spaces will also open, one solely for residents and the other for the wider community, where activities dedicated to local initiatives can be held. The project seeks to empower the residents by having them involved in the different stages of the decision-making process.

“The Brussels Capital Region is facing a major challenge due to unprecedented demographic changes. As a city-region and capital of Europe, Brussels must be an example for the whole world. My Government’s policy consists first and foremost on guaranteeing diversity, which is one of the foundations of Brussels’ identity.”

Rudi Vervoort
Minister-President of the Brussels Capital-Region, Belgium

"As part of my housing policy, I want to develop new places to live in Brussels, but also new ways of living, more humane and more solidarity-based. The CALICO project (“Care and Living in Community”) is a response to this political will: based on the Community Land Trust model,itnot only develops a supply of affordable housing in the very heart of the Capital of Belgium and Europe, but also puts in place solutions for social and intergenerational co-housing. This vision of a city based on solidarity and inclusiveness is carried out  through community work, and specialized associations to support the most vulnerable people in Brussels: women in difficulty, single-parent families and the elderly.”

Nawal Ben Hamou
Secretary of State for Housing, Brussels Region, Belgium

* Disclosure: The Wellbeing Cities Award’s laureates and finalists were selected prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and the civil rights protests. In the light of these new events, our events team is working to reflect these crucial changes in the program of the Wellbeing Cities Forum.

All photos sent by the City of Brussels, Belgium.