Collectief Goed, Antwerp


Collectief Goed, Antwerp

Mismatches Price Functional adequacy Vulnerable groups
Policies and regulations Public-private initiatives Participatory processes
Promotion and production Cooperatives
Ownership and tenure Shared ownership Protection of social housing

Main objectives of the project

With a scarcity of affordable housing in Flanders, Collectief Goed stands out as a beacon of hope for families in need. By acquiring and renovating vacant homes through a cooperative approach, they've provided secure, affordable housing for 35 large families since 2015. Their emphasis on tenant participation and empowerment underscores their commitment to addressing housing inequality and fostering community ownership


  • 2007: Implementation


  • Collectief Goed
  • De Ideale Woning


Continent: Europe
Country/Region: Antwerp, Belgium


In Flanders, approximately 180,000 children are trapped in poverty, facing the harsh reality of inadequate housing options. While purchasing a home is out of reach for these families, finding decent and affordable rentals in the private market is equally challenging. With only 6% of the housing market consisting of social housing, the demand far exceeds the limited supply, resulting in a staggering waiting list of 130,000 families. As a consequence, many families are forced into substandard living conditions—crowded, deteriorating homes that pose health risks, inflate utility bills, and exacerbate stress levels, leaving little capacity to tackle additional challenges.

Recognizing this dire situation, De Ideale Woning, a social housing company in Antwerp, spearheaded the creation of Collectief Goed, a cooperative aimed at enhancing the living standards of low-income individuals. In collaboration with three other organizations, Collectief Goed embarked on a mission to provide affordable housing with a strong emphasis on tenant participation and empowerment. Their strategy revolves around acquiring, renovating, and renting vacant houses tailored to accommodate large families on modest budgets.

Collectief Goed is born out of the initiative of individuals who have personally experienced the hardships of poverty. They confronted various issues, foremost among them the lack of affordable and suitable housing, and united to address these challenges collectively. Through their efforts, Collectief Goed has substantially improved housing conditions for its members, offering completely renovated homes with secure, long-term, and affordable rental contracts. This newfound stability serves as a cornerstone for addressing broader societal issues. Moreover, Collectief Goed collaborates closely with tenants, fostering their self-development and empowerment.

In the face of a severe shortage of affordable housing, many properties lie vacant. Collectief Goed seeks to remedy this by acquiring, renovating, and making these properties available to vulnerable families at affordable rates through an innovative cooperative housing model. To keep renovation costs low without compromising quality, Collectief Goed employs creative renovation techniques and engages technical schools and social economy workers in the process. Additionally, materials are procured collectively, and the project leverages various subsidies and premiums. Importantly, tenants are actively involved in every stage of the process as shareholders in the cooperative.

Financing for Collectief Goed's initiatives comes from a mix of sources. The founders initially invested startup capital, supplemented by private investors who purchase shares. Properties are acquired in exchange for shares and subordinated loans, while bank loans finance renovations. Tenant rent serves as another revenue stream. With a target of owning and renting out 75 homes to break even, Collectief Goed has made significant strides since its inception in 2015, providing quality, affordable housing to 35 large families with limited incomes. The relevant part, as we mentioned, is that these families are not just tenants; they are integral members of the cooperative, with opportunities to become shareholders and co-owners, demonstrating the efficacy of the model in preserving social housing stock and catering to underserved demographics. Importantly, residents feel deeply connected to their homes and the cooperative, reinforcing the sense of community and ownership.