Brussels’ Climate Plan aims to renovate social housing

Brussels’ Climate Plan aims to renovate social housing
Brussels skyline. Credit: Orlando Whitehead

Some 1,057 social housing units in Brussels will undergo renovations as part of the Climate Plan programme from Logement Bruxellois – a social housing company that operates in the city.

“Everyone has the right to comfortable, quality housing, and it is high time that the City renovated the social housing that is most in need,” said Philippe Close, Mayor of the City of Brussels.

The housing units are located in the Marolles, Haren and Neder-Over-Heembeek neighbourhoods. The Climate Plan has three goals: reducing the energy bills of social tenants, improving the living environment of residents, and boosting energy efficiency.

Cité Hellemans social housing in the Brussels Marolles district. Credit: Orlando Whitehead

“This large-scale plan will bring social housing into a new era that takes into account social as well as societal and environmental issues,” said Karim Tafranti, President of Logement Bruxellois.

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The renovations include improving insulation, installing new ventilation systems, and bringing utility installations up to modern standards. This should see 75% of Logement Bruxellois’ properties complying with low-energy standards.

“This is an important step in this dossier which, despite the health crisis, has not been delayed for the moment,” reads a press release from Secretary of State for Housing Nawal Ben Hamou. The statement thanked those involved in the project for their flexibility and commitment to the project despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.

“We have decided to launch a vast renovation programme during this legislature: nearly 37,000 social housing units will be renovated in the region for a total budget of more than €500 million euros,” said Ben Hamou.

A current picture and concept art of the finished result for one of the affected social housing united. Images from the office of Nawal Ben Hamou.

The signing and filing of planning permits on Monday is the latest step in the programme, which was launched at the end of April 2019 and is financed by the City of Brussels and the Société du Logement de la Région de Bruxelles-Capitale (SLRB).

Lydia Mutyebele, Deputy Mayor for Housing of the City of Brussels, welcomed “this fundamental step for the implementation of the ‘Climate Plan’ and, as the name indicates, for the fight against climate change.”

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