The Brussels neighbourhood of Saint-Josse has acquired a new property on rue de Linné for the construction of municipal housing.
“This purchase is part of a policy aiming to increase the supply of social housing in the North district, as other private properties have previously been acquired by the Commune with the support of the Brussels Region,” explained a press release.
The housing comes on the initiative of Mayor Emir KIR and Alderman Philippe Boïketé, who is in charge of Housing.
“With this new acquisition, the Municipality is now the owner of two contiguous properties, 60 and 62 rue Linné,” said the mayor.
“This will allow us to submit a planning permission by the end of the year for the construction of eight social housing units with two or three bedrooms to meet the needs of families. We are therefore continuing our investments in the northern district and accompanying its metamorphosis through various communal projects.”
Another building project previously acquired by the municipality had been used to provide emergency accommodation, and then on an ongoing basis, for homeless people with the opening of the Municipal House dedicated to their reception.
Faced with rising homelessness, the Brussels government recently agreed to set aside €965,000 towards social initiatives aimed at using unoccupied buildings for temporary housing.
Around 500 people will benefit from that housing, amid increasing rates of squatting (temporary occupation of vacant buildings) that stem from a shortage of affordable housing and the migration crisis that’s hit the Belgian capital in recent years, two factors that have been made worse as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The homeless situation in Brussels reached crisis levels especially during the past winter, when freezing temperatures drove people without homes into train stations for warmth due to a shortage of available beds in shelters.