Calico - Care and Living in Community

Research, Ongoing

The ‘Care and Living in Community’-project (CALICO) aims to develop affordable housing for specific vulnerable groups in a caring environment in the municipality of Forest in the Brussel Capital Region.

The CALICO project is funded by the EU's Urban Innovative Actions program to tackle the Brussels' housing crisis, focussing on the housing situation and the quality of life of specific vulnerable groups, and to operate a paradigm shift in which care for people in need becomes less institutionalised. 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 project aims to empower these 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.

CALICO consists of a consortium of local & regional governments, non-profit organisations and academics. Bruxelles Logement (Brussels Capital Region) and the Community Land Trust Brussels (CLTB) are the coordinators and take the lead in the process and implementation of the project. Adjoining them are the organisations that execute and implement the project; Angela D vzw, Passage vzw and Eva vzw. The Municipality of Forest in which the project is located and the Local Public Social Welfare Centre (CPAS) are also partners of the project.

The research groups Belgian Ageing Studies and COSMOPOLIS from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) are in charge of evaluating the project over the implementation period. VUB will be conducting research with a general focus on impact (tangible results) and process (how these are delivered) evaluation at individual, community and policy levels. This will be done, using both qualitative (focus groups and interviews) and quantitative (questionnaires and monitoring tools) measures.

More info on the project and results can be found on the CALICO website.