Community Land Trust Bruxelles
Community Land Trust Brussels (CLTB) develops permanently affordable buildings, such as housing for people with limited means and space for the social economy, on collectively-owned lands. The community-driven approach of these developments shapes resilient and mutually supportive communities in a fair and inclusive city. As a social real estate developer, CLTB thus offers an innovative and sustainable response to the housing crisis and to increasing urban real estate prices.
CLTB applies the Community Land Trust (CLT)-model to develop its projects. CLTs are based on the premise that land speculation is a source of exclusion and injustice. CLTs separate the ownership of the land from the ownership of the buildings on it. The land is retained forever in trust by the CLT for the surrounding community; that effectively and permanently removes the land from the market. By contrast, buildings on the CLT’s land are sold to and owned by families, co-operative housing corporations, small businesses, or non-profit organizations. The trust’s land is never sold; it is leased. A resale formula keeps the buildings affordable over the long term. The aim is to differentiate the land which the CLT retains for community use in perpetuity from the stipulated equity share an owner-occupant can receive on the sale of the buildings. The CLT exercises this power through a pre-emptive right to buy when buildings are resold.
CLTB actively involves future homeowners and other users of the buildings in the development of their project and engages them in a reflection on how the project can contribute to its neighbourhood. CLTB develops mixed projects, including housing, social services and social businesses.
CLTB also plays an important role in disseminating the CLT model in the rest of Europe, through its participation in several European projects and networks.
Joaquín de Santos
He studied political science and European politics in Switzerland, the UK, France and Belgium. After working in European affairs and on industrial heritage projects for seven years, he joined the staff of the CLT Brussels in early 2018 to coordinate the European project, “Sustainable Housing for Inclusive and Cohesive Communities” (SHICC), and as of February 2019 the gE.CO project. He has had a long-standing interest in urban struggles for the right to the city and industrial and social heritage. In his spare time, he is pursuing a PhD in urban policy at the University of Antwerp, Belgium.