North-west Europe is in the midst of a housing affordability crisis, and as it continues to penetrate further into the fabric of our cities, their social and economic sustainability is being seriously threatened.
More than 26million people across the European Union are living in overcrowded and inadequate properties. Homelessness is on the rise - in just four years Brussels has seen a 34% increase in people living on the streets. Unaffordable rents are forcing life-long city-dwellers to pack up and leave. The knock-on effect is urban segregation and marginalisation.
A hopeless situation? Not quite…
Amidst the crisis in housing, there is a growing movement of ordinary people across the region who are taking matters into their own hands; they are forming Community Land Trusts (CLTs).
In the absence of new housing supply through traditional housing models, CLTs offer an innovative and economically sustainable way of providing genuinely and permanently affordable homes. On top of this, they are enabling communities to take back control of their own neighbourhoods and create a better future that works for everyone.
The Sustainable Housing for Inclusive and Cohesive Cities (SHICC) project seeks to support the establishment of more successful CLTs in cities across the NWE region. Over the three-year project it will invest in four existing CLTs in Brussels, Ghent, Lille and London to ‘prove the concept’, create a supportive local, regional and national policy, funding and regulatory environment for CLTs and build a movement across the region.
By the end of the project we aim to have established a widespread movement of CLTs across the region and CLTs to be widely recognised as a mainstream option for housing supply and urban renewal in all countries.