Empowerment at the heart of housing production. The community land trust model

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Empowerment is a vector of sustainability in housing. This article attempts to verify this hypothesis based on a study of historical developments in the notion of empowerment and the community land trust (CLT) model as a model of land management and social housing construction.
The article traces the interwoven development of these two notions, which originated in the US, then analyses the Community Land Trust Brussels (CLTB) project in more detail. The article presents the background to the model’s recent appearance in Europe, recorded in Le retour des communs, and attempts to establish which concept of empowerment it is based on in order to evaluate to what extent it can be seen as a sustainable housing production model.
On a global scale the CLT currently appears to mobilize members’ will for empowerment to varying degrees, fluctuating between a radical and community viewpoint in the context of the defence of the inhabitants of informal settlements to a more generalized and individualistic neo-liberal viewpoint in the case of some recent American CLTs.
The specific study of the CLTB will establish the motivation of a socio-liberal concept of empowerment and the outlook for its development will be examined in conclusion.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable dwelling
Subtitle of host publicationBetween Spatial Polyvalence and Residents' Empowerment
EditorsGerlald Ledent, Chloé Salembier, Damien Vanneste
PublisherPresses universitaires de Louvain
ISBN (Electronic)978-2-87558-915-6
ISBN (Print)978-2-87558-916-3
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventLaunch event: Sustainable Dwelling / Uses & Spaces - CIVA, Brussels, Belgium
Duration: 20 Feb 202020 Feb 2020


ConferenceLaunch event


  • Community Land Trust
  • Empowerment
  • Governance


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