A new model of affordable housing that centers decarbonisation and decommodification


The housing crisis affecting many cities in the NWE region is calling for the production of more affordable housing. Building new housing is often in conflict with many cities' circular strategies, including the preservation of existing open space, and the reduction of building resources. The need for renovation of the housing stock to meet climate targets (energy neutrality by 2050) is both a challenge and an opportunity. 

The model of Community Land Trusts (CLTs) and Organismes Fonciers Solidaires (OFS) offers an innovative and hybrid form of ownership suitable for such an approach. We observe a growing interest in this innovative approach among communities and authorities, and a significant potential for CLTs to accelerate a just urban transition.


CLTs in Cork, Ghent, Lille, Rennes, and Brussels want to test this new upcycling strategy and use a circular approach to the renovation. Through the Upcycling Trust Project these CLTs will set up pilots where legal, organizational, technical, and financial strategies will be developed, and the first homes will be upcycled. These pilot projects will benefit approximately 150 low-income families who will live in these homes. 

Based on the experiences of the pilots, and by involving local and regional authorities and academic partners, we will use our findings to develop new urban policy. In a time when cities are looking for strategies to address the housing crisis, strengthen the urban fabric, and achieve climate goals, the Upcycling Trust Model offers an innovative structural approach that can accelerate a just urban transition. The core strength of this project is its reliance on five separate cities with unique histories and challenges. 

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