In its resolution on housing, the Citizens' Assembly of Brussels formulated a series of recommendations regarding the issue of people living in precarious situations. This page gives an overview of the work Agora.Brussels has done in parliament to follow up on these recommendations.
We submitted a written question on how access to social housing is controlled in the Brussels-Capital Region which relates to the work of the assembly members. The members wanted to know how the conditions of access to social housing were controlled.
We also submitted a written question about the social mix in public housing projects in the Brussels-Capital Region. In the response, the secretary of state chiefly made reference to plans that can be found in the regional coalition agreement.
Finally, we asked the Secretary of State for Housing about the process for checking whether housing in Brussels is suitable for habitation. The answers to this question also fed into the work of the Brussels Citizens' Assembly.
Follow-up on recommendations
The Brussels Citizens' Assembly requested that a mix of types of housing (social and private) should be provided in urban developments. On 15 March, 2021, Agora was able to ask this question in the commission for land development.
During the plenary session on 19 March, 2021, we asked the Minister President what he was planning to do in response to the growing number of homeless people who live in the streets, in light of the latest figures published by Bruss'help.
More specifically, the Citizens' Assembly requested that there should be support for initiatives like "Housing First". Naturally, in order to support these initiatives, it is also necessary to allocate them accommodation. For this reason we also asked the Secretary of State about the allocation of this housing.
As for initiatives such as "Housing First", we also asked Minister Maron and Minister Van den Brandt to outline their vision of growth in the sector, and how they would support these initiatives. We hope to receive an answer shortly.
The government wants to award building permits more quickly for urban planning projects that consist of at least 25% social housing. The Citizens' Assembly also wants to promote this mix of social housing with private housing. We therefore presented two amendments which would allow the same rule to apply to renovations which lead to the creation of social housing, and to turn this into a permanent measure. We argued for these amendments during the plenary session of 15-01-2021, but they were rejected. Nonetheless, we supported the government's initiative since it still supports the same broad aim as the citizens' resolution.
Contribution to debates
We also participated in numerous debates which were not directly initiated by Agora, but where we nonetheless presented the standpoint of the Citizens' Assembly, including various debates such as:
The discussion on the renovation of social housing on the Rampart des Moines, in the housing commission
A discussion on rent allowance, during the housing commission
A request for explanation regarding the centralisation of the process for registering social housing and housing with a social aim, in the housing commission
The state of the Agences Immobilières Sociales (social housing offices), in the housing commission
The debate on the shortage of large affordable housing projects in the public service real estate companies, within the housing commission.