It is the inauguration day of CALICO building, the intergenerational cohousing multi-storey apartments, and on the new balconies you can see the flags of the associaitons who made this project possible. Realised with the support of UIA in the efficient tempo of three years, CALICO is the concrete result of the collective work among CLTB, associations Pass-ages, Angela.D, and EVA bxl, regional institutions Brussels Housing and perspective.brussels, and University VUB.
It is about 11am the common space, a gallery passage at the ground floor linking the neighbourhood to the community garden, is slowly getting populated with people curious of the project, the inhabitants, the neighbours, the CALICO project partners busy in making sure that everything at the opening event is perfect, and a colourful group of kids twisting with balloons among the crowd.
A cheerful atmosphere of pride and satisfaction is in the air, for having realised what is an innovative and unique non speculative participative housing project that reinvents the CLT model with cooperative housing mixing tenures, including Housing First, and community-based health care.
Among the distinguished invitees are Nawal Ben Hamou, State Secretary on Housing of the Brussels-Capital region, Alain Maron, Ministry of the Environment, Social action and Health, Mariam El Hamidine, mayor of Forest, and Nicolas Lonfils, director of the Social Welfare center of Forest. Political support is evident and all praise the project as a model for the future. But it is the speech of the representative of one of the association partnering for CALICO that tells in few words the spirit of the project: “CALICO is a project of transversality and solidarity, it is a place where people of different age live together, where everyone is aware of gender issues and inequalities; it is a project that allows people to share and live together crucial moments of life and death, and after all CALICO is a place that wants to be different, in a city where everyone has the right to a dignified life, along with the concrete spirit and desire to build a better society”.