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    Homes for Brussels’ homeless under new project

    © Belga
    © Belga

    The Campagne 400 Toits (Campaign 400 Roofs) on Thursday launched a pilot project in partnership with citydev.brussels to provide low-cost temporary housing for homeless people in Brussels. To attract the interest of investors and public authorities, two wooden mobile homes, 20m2 in size, have been installed temporarily on an empty plot close to the Van Praet Bridge on the Bridgecity site.  The plot belongs to citydev, the public agency in charge of urban development in the Brussels Region.

    These structures are the first prototypes of the temporary accomodation project, which aims to build 400 homes by 2020. Why 400 ? Because this is the number of homeless people recorded in 2014 in Brussels when the project was being designed. Since then, the number of people living on the street has increased to 700.

    “We’re trying to think outside the box, to be inventive in order to accomodate people more immediately,” said Julie Rondier, coordinator of the Habitat and Humanism Foundation and one of the participants in Campagne 400 Toits.

    The two mobile houses -the Moving Nest and the Wald Cube – have a major advantage: they can be built in one month and are affordable.  The Moving Nest costs 18,700 euros, not counting transport and assembly costs, while the Cube costs 42,000 euros. 

    The first two prototypes, which will remain for three months on the Bridgecity site, will serve to publicize the project. Campagne 400 Toits then plans to find a plot of land for a minimum of two years to lodge homeless people in a sustainable manner and contribute to their reintegration into society.

    Andy Sanchez
    The Brussels Times