Older People’s Perceptions about Alternative Forms of Housing in Brussels

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingMeeting abstract (Book)


This contribution explores perspectives on different alternative housing possibilities among different groups of older people in Brussels. As defined by Lawton (1981) alternative forms of housing is whatever form that can not be placed within the traditional group of residences. A common element among them is the relatively small scale and the fact that they are more custom-built for people whose needs or resources do not fit into the mold of traditional housing types. In a large extensive qualitative study on aging in place, housing and care in Brussels, organized in 2011- 2012, there was a specific attention for alternative forms of housing. The research project comprised 18 focus groups with a wide range of participants: third & fourth age (8), vulnerable older people (3), and older migrants (7). Different forms such as Abbeyfield housing, cohousing and granny flats are being discussed as well as their strengths and deficits. Results suggest that a large part of the respondents are open to these new ideas. Autonomy, affordability, not being alone when something would happen and the possibility of staying in the familiar neighborhood are seen as advantages by the different groups. Overall, findings suggest that alternative forms of housing are not a generalized solution, however, we can conclude that they are important additions to the range of housing choices available for older people. More information could support the visibility of existing forms towards older people. Results suggest that more research is necessary for future developments.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBritish Society of Gerontology 43rd Annual conference, 1-3d September 2014, University of Southampton, UK
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event43rd Annual Conference of the British Society of Gerontology - Southampton, United Kingdom
Duration: 1 Sep 20143 Sep 2014


Conference43rd Annual Conference of the British Society of Gerontology
CountryUnited Kingdom


  • Housing
  • Alternative Housing
  • Older people
  • Brussels
  • Cohousing


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