Wanted: Daredevils for housing cooperatives
An Article from Lieve Jacobs, Peggy Totté
“Housing cooperatives provide affordable housing: 20% cheaper than the market.” “A large-scale study by Steunpunt Wonen confirms that residential mobility within cooperatives provides affordable housing tailored to each family.” “The Covid-19 crisis in the 2020s marked the beginning of cooperative care housing in Europe.” “With neo-liberalism at an end, a new era of cooperative housing provides affordable rents.”
To us, these seem to be quite plausible newspaper headlines in 2050. Indeed, we strongly believe that cooperative housing models can provide not only affordability, but also quality, residential mobility and flexibility. Housing in cooperatives can be very diverse, from individual traditional housing types to co-housing and residential communities. Cooperative management of housing can put a stop to the fragmentation of properties, parcels and houses. Small-scale housing types where there is room for care pose no problem for housing cooperatives. And finally, it appears to be the ideal model for converting larger historical complexes into housing.
For now, housing cooperatives are still relatively unexplored terrain in Flanders. Recent years have seen a rise in interest, and a number of housing cooperatives have been established: wooncoop, Oak Tree Projects, De Okelaar, Collectief Goed, etc. They are slowly making gains in the property market, but the quest continues. In this article, Cera and Architectuurwijzer will set out the general characteristics of housing cooperatives and substantiate what they believe to be cooperatives’ strength and added value in Flanders. They will also consider the possible pitfalls. On this topic, the authors would also like to refer to Cera’s recent publication “Cooperatief Wonen in Vlaanderen” (Cooperative Housing in Flanders).
What is a housing cooperative?
The definition of a housing cooperative in the Wetboek Vennootschappen en Verenigingen (Belgian Companies and Associations Code, or WVV) is based on the definition given by the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA): an “autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically-controlled enterprise”. A central principle to this definition is that cooperatives are “mission-driven” enterprises: they meet the common need(s) of their cooperators. To meet this need, problem or opportunity, the cooperators do not wait for the market or government to solve it: they take matters into their own hands and unite in a joint enterprise. Hence the importance of cooperative values, such as self-reliance and self-responsibility.
To meet this need, problem or opportunity, the cooperators do not wait for the market or government to solve it.
The purest version of a housing cooperative consists of residents who unite to realise their housing needs and wishes together. Each acquires a share in the housing cooperative, which in turn can use this contribution to acquire a building. The contribution gives the cooperators co-ownership of the cooperative society; in exchange, they are granted a right of residence. They also have a duty to democratically manage and control the cooperative.
From homeowner to cooperator
In Flanders, we feel a bit uncomfortable with housing cooperatives due to our strong tradition of individual homeownership. About eighty per cent of Flemings own their own home. For detached houses, semi-detached houses or terraced houses on the same lot, this is the obvious, well-known and simple model. However, in the case of an apartment building, a clustered residential project around a common outdoor space, or even a co-housing project, this means that the residents must form an “association of co-owners”. They must jointly make decisions and invest in the management and maintenance of common areas (gardens, cellars, stairs, roofing, façades, etc). In this context, co-ownership often leads to difficult discussions between the owners.
In a housing cooperative, a resident is not the owner of his or her home, and he or she cannot count on a speculative added value over time. The cooperative society owns the entire building – both the dwellings and the common areas. The cooperator/resident possesses a “right of residence” and he or she has a right of use to “the bricks”, which often translates into a lease. Or, as wooncoop says in its slogan, “renting from yourself”. Responsibility for the management and investments lies with the Board of Directors. The Board is elected by all cooperators in the cooperative; it in turn appoints a “manager”.
An interesting management reference project is the Swiss housing cooperative Kalkbreite in Zurich. Kalkbreite decided not to have the building managed by the residents. After all, residents are too directly involved; they may not be able to adequately separate their individual interests from those of the cooperative. However, residents can indeed contribute ideas and make decisions at the monthly meetings of the “communal council”. This council of residents has a budget and can approve communal projects, such as setting up and running a library.
To be clear, residents do sit on the Kalkbreite Board of Directors, in addition to “external managers”. These are managers recruited for their specific expertise without being residents of the cooperative. Each director on the Board of Directors must be focused on the interests of the cooperative. The more clearly defined the functions and powers of the General Meeting and Board of Directors, the better the guarantee for a successful operation of the cooperative.
Relationship between tenants and their housing cooperatives
Housing cooperatives offer a clear advantage to residents compared to the traditional rental market. The residents of a cooperative project, as cooperators, are strongly involved in the project. They have three types of relationships with their cooperative enterprise:
- Transactional relationship (user-benefit): the cooperative provides benefits to the cooperators, who in turn use the services of the cooperative. This “transactional relationship” – which offers an answer to the needs of the cooperator – is central because this is the raison d’être of a cooperative, and the reason why people become cooperators. In a housing cooperative, this transactional relationship means that the cooperator can live at cost price.
- Investment relationship (user-owner): the users are the joint owners of a shared enterprise. The cooperators invest – or provide the capital – so that the enterprise can offer the service. The investment requested often depends on the “transaction size”. In the case of a housing cooperative, the requested contribution from the resident is directly related to the number of m² of living space, which is a logical cooperative principle. In Zurich, the rule at the Genossenschaften (cooperatives) is for residents to invest in proportion to the number of m² that they lease.
- Relationship of control (user-control): the users have joint control of the cooperative. This relationship of control differs from traditional shareholdership in two ways. Firstly, the cooperators will monitor to see if the cooperative is working according to their common need(s) at all times. Secondly, there is democratic control: each resident has one vote, regardless of his or her contribution. As such, in a housing cooperative, it does not matter whether you live in a small or large housing unit – the residents monitor their common needs together and on an equal basis.
A striking and unique aspect of cooperatives is that these three relationships are connected to each other:
investment and control are functions of the transaction.
From citizen cooperatives to entrepreneur cooperatives
Generally, Cera distinguishes between four types of cooperative: the citizen cooperative, company cooperative, worker cooperative and multi-stakeholder cooperative.
A well-known example of citizen cooperatives in Flanders is the energy cooperatives where citizens jointly invest in sustainable energy sources and then receive their energy at cost price. They are distinguished from a worker cooperative, where the “workers” or employees jointly own the business, thus providing for their own employment. There is a third type, the company cooperative, such as Prik&Tik, where independent beverage dealers unite to handle their marketing, purchasing and logistics jointly.
Finally, there are multi-stakeholder cooperatives: here, at least two different groups of stakeholders with potential conflicting interests (workers, suppliers, customers or citizens) unite into one enterprise. There are not (yet) many examples of this in Belgium. Evidently, this is not an obvious model to adopt, since all kinds of conflicts which are normally settled externally (“on the market”) are brought into the enterprise. Consider, for example, a discussion of pricing between suppliers and consumers. But for the same reason, this model has the potential to be immensely valuable.
Most existing housing cooperatives, both in Belgium and abroad, have been established as citizen cooperatives. In Flanders, we are seeing a budding interest emerge from a few co-housing groups. They see the advantage of managing their multi-common-area residential projects more easily in a cooperative, and at the same time, being part of it as cooperators. It also often ties in with their idea of high-quality housing. Nowadays, these resident groups are setting up their own housing cooperatives for single projects, or they have wooncoop take their projects under its wing. Oak Tree Projects is another citizen cooperative dedicated to providing affordable and quality housing for people with disabilities. In both cases, both residents and external “citizens” are shareholders or investors in the housing cooperative. No government or company is involved.
In contrast to the citizen cooperatives, Collectief Goed is the first example of a multi-stakeholder cooperative in Flanders. It is a partnership of residents, community-based organisations and a social housing company (De Ideale Woning). Each one has a different interest, but they all pursue the same goal: affordable and high-quality housing for large families. De Ideale Woning acquired its shares through its contribution in kind of older social housing, which was then renovated and let by the housing cooperative.
It seems worthwhile in the near future to further pursue the model of the multi-stakeholder cooperative, and even the company cooperative, for housing. There are enough professional players – governments, project developers, contractors, architects, etc. – who are showing an interest in this.
The Baugenossenschaft Zurlinden in Zurich is also a fine (and exceptional) example of a company cooperative abroad. Some twenty construction companies have joined under this cooperative to build affordable and sustainable city housing together. In this way they provide their own selling market, but they also build up their own knowledge of sustainable construction because they are responsible for the management of the project. At Zurlinden, the residents are not partners. However, at company cooperatives such as this, it is indeed important to take the interests of the residents into account. And when we do this and give the residents the opportunity to become cooperators, we arrive at the model of the multi-stakeholder cooperative described above.
Affordable living: The primary driver
Realising and managing affordable and quality housing is the major driver of almost every housing cooperative, both in Belgium and abroad. Housing cooperatives are not social housing corporations (in the Netherlands, they clearly distinguish themselves from the latter), but they do try to add an affordable rental option to the private housing market. To understand how housing cooperatives can provide affordable housing, it is important to comprehend the link between rents, share valuations and dividends.
The rent on a property is calculated based on the actual expenses of the cooperative, current mortgage loans, building management costs and other factors. It follows from this that the cooperative is not profit-focused, so – just as in many other cooperatives – an individual gains no added value on his or her share if he or she leaves a housing cooperative. This stands in stark contrast to the financial added value that many Flemings realise when they sell their house or apartment after a certain number of years. A share value that increases upon leaving the cooperative would make the entry value less attainable for future cooperators, or even lead to a higher rental price for the homes.
The cooperative character of each housing cooperative compels it to strive for “maximum fulfilment of cooperator needs”, or in other words, for “goal maximisation” rather than “business profit maximisation”. For this reason, a housing cooperative is more likely to use any positive earnings to introduce a lower rent than to realise a business profit for the cooperative and pay a dividend to the cooperators. But a housing cooperative must also act with due diligence. Lowering the rent is therefore not necessarily the first or only option. Preferably, the cooperative also has capital gains reserves, depending on the long-term proper management and maintenance of the buildings and the strong solvency of the company.
For this reason, a housing cooperative is more likely to use any positive earnings to introduce a lower rent.
If all cooperators live in the housing cooperative, it is obvious that no dividend is paid to the cooperators, but that they benefit from lower rent in combination with guaranteed good management. Conversely, it is also a reality that housing cooperatives – especially in their early years – need a lot of capital, and that to this end, they have to attract “external” cooperators as well. They draw from the network of their residents or “social investors” for this purpose. In this case, it may be appropriate to compensate them for this contributed capital through a limited annual dividend, which is quite possible if the cooperative makes a profit. The cooperative must ensure that a dividend policy does not come at the expense of the common mission, and that its policy in this regard is consistent and clear.
In Zurich, over a period of at least ten years, a great difference has arisen between housing cooperative rents and private market rents. These lower rents are partly attributable to the Zurich city council, which makes part of its land available to housing cooperatives via lease or sale at affordable prices. In Flanders, it is still too early to see great differences in rent between the housing cooperatives (which were recently established) and the market. Moreover, housing cooperatives in Flanders certainly do not receive any preferential treatment from the government. Nevertheless, it would be perfectly lawful for a Flemish city council to lease part of its land to a housing cooperative in exchange for a sustainable and affordable housing supply over the long term.
Residential mobility and flexibility through economies of scale
In several Genossenschaften in Zurich, family size determines the size of the home that can be rented. When a family expands, they can claim a larger home. In the opposite case, a move to a smaller unit is expected. However, this is only possible within the larger housing cooperatives because they have a larger housing stock and thus more flexibility. This allows cooperatives to facilitate residential mobility in a way that is unthinkable in Flanders today. Our owner-based model does not make shifts between various residential units simple or easy.
One residential project also offers flexibility at the room level. In Kalkbreite (Zurich), some rooms with their own sanitary fittings and kitchenette have been provided which – subject to a justified statement of reasons – can be temporarily rented out to a family with a child who no longer wants to live at home, but still wishes to live close by. Rooms like this can also be a perfect solution for the care of an ill parent or grandparent. Hagman Areal (Winterthur) does not provide one large collective space for all residents; rather, a number of smaller rooms on the ground floor are made available to them. They can use these rooms to make music, work from home, hold a small meeting, etc. This creates an extra room that is an extension to the home but does not have to be permanently available. A cooperative society is perfectly suited to arrange this type of flexibility and short-term rental or use.
Traditional and new housing types on offer
With the revival of the Genossenschaften in Zurich in the 1990s, a number of innovative housing cooperatives have been created through city intervention. Often, the land is made available (via ground lease) to the cooperatives on the condition that they also commit to new forms of housing, car-free living spaces, sustainable buildings, etc. As such, the new residential projects of the Genossenschaften were a useful tool for making active city policy, including renewal of housing typology.
But housing cooperatives do not by definition have to commit to innovative housing types or collective housing. Nor do they limit themselves to a single target group in the city of Zurich. Part of the autonomy of every housing cooperative is to determine its own vision and strategy. Especially at the historic cooperatives in Zurich, we saw a number of high-quality residential buildings with a traditional apartment typology and a good price-quality guarantee.
In Flanders, we are initially seeing a strong connection between co-housing projects and housing cooperatives, as mentioned above. This is logical because cooperative management is simply better suited to the management of collective parts of a project, as opposed to an association of co-owners. But it is still important to expand the range of housing cooperatives in Flanders. An exploratory multidisciplinary study by Architectuurwijzer, in partnership with Cera, may reveal some new perspectives in this area in the near future.
The added value of a cooperative spatial approach
Architectuurwijzer is convinced that housing cooperatives can contribute to better spatial planning in Flanders. Some disadvantages of the individual owner model on a project scale have already been discussed. In addition, individual ownership causes a major disadvantage with regard to planning scale: a high level of fragmentation in space and ownership.
Every city, village, neighbourhood, street and parcel – and also many apartment buildings and other mixed-use buildings – consists of various small properties. In the case of apartment buildings, we have already described how discussions between co-owners can lead to the neglect of the necessary long-term renovation of a building. Equally so, the lack of a vision for the future between the homeowners of a garden city or a mining district can stand in the way of a desired collective renewal of the neighbourhood. In the case of a housing cooperative – which manages a neighbourhood – we can hope that there will be more unanimity among the cooperators and that they can take action more quickly.
The historic housing cooperatives in Switzerland have also shown the benefit of keeping large neighbourhoods fully owned. In the old neighbourhoods, often with worn-out buildings, the choice between renovation of each home or replacement construction often seems to be made quickly. This leads to a number of interesting new residential areas with a higher housing quality and a higher residential density. Such large-scale demolition and renewal of residential areas is only conceivable in Flanders for social housing districts, provided that they have not sold individual homes to the current tenants. In any other private residential area, such innovation and densification is virtually impossible due to fragmented ownership.
New chances for heritage estates
A cooperative approach also seems sensible in the reuse of large historic properties. These properties were previously managed by one owner, such as a rich family, a monastic order, a company, etc. Repurposing them as residential projects is often considered. However, dividing a property and/or estate into smaller properties is not conducive to the quality of the whole. Necessity dictates that we have to look for creative solutions not only for the classification and typology of the houses, but also for the management of common parts of the buildings and estate.
Necessity dictates that we have to look for creative solutions not only for the classification and typology of the houses, but also for the management of common parts of the buildings and estate.
Symbiosis, a public utility foundation, has recognised this need in Flanders. Through the foundation, they have bought the Boekenberg castle in Antwerp, the Carmelite monastery in Ghent and the Sandershoeve in Ostend. They ask the residents to co-finance the restoration of these heritage projects. The foundation remains the owner and manager of each building. As such, there are no discussions about the management of the common areas, and no difficult subdivision of the estate is required. It is therefore not a housing cooperative, but as a foundation, it has a very similar ambition and strategy.
The Abtshof in Gingelom also shows how a housing cooperative can bring added value. This square-shaped farm was purchased by a housing cooperative, which was founded by three families. The cooperative intends to repurpose the building into twelve homes as well as workspaces, workshops, etc. The cooperative also intends to preserve and cultivate the 1.4 hectares of agricultural land behind the building. A housing cooperative allows residents, as well as other supporters, to help make the project possible and use many kinds of spaces.
Need for small-scale care and senior housing projects
Finally, we see a considerable challenge in the field of care and senior housing in Flanders. The recent lockdown has taught us that having seniors live in large groups is not ideal. Jan De Maeseneer, professor emeritus of family medicine, has stated in a newspaper interview:
“We especially have to look at how we can still realise the important life goals of these older people at that stage of their lives. They should be able to eat well, eat good food, and still have enough social contact with those who are dear to them, such as their grandchildren. We will also have to prepare – for example, for infectious diseases – by completely rethinking our way of building. The virus loves nothing more than long corridors with sixty rooms. So ideally, we would go to units of eight to twelve people who live together on a campus, so that it resembles ordinary life as closely as possible.”
From both a care and space perspective, small-scale forms of housing where seniors live in a shared space and can call on each other for help or errands if necessary therefore seem more desirable. This can lead to attractive places to live for and by seniors.
Housing cooperatives also appear to be promising models for the establishment and management of such small-scale residential care projects. Residential projects for people with disabilities are setting an example. wooncoop, for example, owns the large villa of De Binnenwereld in Adegem. The residents (who have disabilities) are cooperators of wooncoop; they call on De Vierklaver, a non-profit, for their care needs. Oak Tree Projects is a housing cooperative that is dedicated exclusively to building houses where three to five residents with disabilities can live together. This house is part of a co-housing project where the residents also use the collective spaces and garden. Both residents and their supporters co-finance Oak Tree Projects as cooperators.
Who will participate?
In sum, we believe that the housing cooperative is a model with many opportunities and possibilities, which much can still be said and written about. However, it should not be limited to words – actions are important too. It is mainly on the basis of concrete projects in Flanders that housing cooperatives can gain a share of the market. To this end, the Flemish Environment and Housing Departments will launch a call in the spring of 2021 for pilot projects in cooperative living. Multidisciplinary research by the cultural association Architectuurwijzer and Cera’s cooperative services can also contribute to new insights into the possibilities of housing cooperatives in Flanders.
But what we really need are “daredevils”: municipal authorities who dare to lease land to a housing cooperative, higher authorities who are willing to further optimise the legislation on cooperatives, citizens wanting to invest time and energy in starting new cooperative enterprise, existing cooperatives that are continuing to grow and working on their ambitions, banks that are willing to take the plunge with them all, and many other professionals from the real estate and construction sectors who are willing to question their current way of working and consider creating a future affordable housing supply through housing cooperatives.
Peggy Totté, an architect and urban planner, works with the cultural architecture association Architectuurwijzer on themes such as collective, social and cooperative housing. In addition to organising lectures, debates, study missions, etc., she is also the curator of the Housing Apart Together exhibition.
Lieve Jacobs, a lawyer, works with the cooperative Cera on the theme of cooperative entrepreneurship. She advises people, organisations and policymakers on cooperative entrepreneurship and guides both new initiatives and established cooperatives in various sectors. Cera explores the possibilities for application of cooperative housing based on current social housing challenges.
- In Zurich, the price of rent in a housing cooperative is said to be about 20 per cent cheaper than the market price of a comparable home. This is based on the individual experiences of a number of professionals residing in Zurich, not yet on a scientific comparative study.
- This fictional headline is based on an interview with Klaus Schwalb, founder of the World Economic Forum, published in Die Zeit on 21 September 2020, where he says that “The coronavirus crisis shows us that capitalism must be rethought, taking social, natural and human capital into account. Because otherwise, the necessary change will come by force. Neoliberalism has had its day.”
- For more information, see www.wooncoop.be, www.oaktreeprojects.be, www.collectiefgoed.be, etc.
- These general characteristics may differ from those of existing Flemish cooperatives. Variation is possible, after all. In this article, we describe a more abstract and “ideal” cooperative without taking any local legal or fiscal specificities into account.
- The publication “Coöperatief wonen in Vlaanderen” (Cooperative housing in Flanders) was developed as part of Cera’s COOP Pilot Project, in which it aims to support the further development of housing cooperatives in Belgium by means of knowledge development, knowledge sharing and provision of services. It is operated by Endeavour and Miss Miyagi on behalf of Cera. The publication can be downloaded at: https://www.cera.coop/nl/cooperaties/info-en-onderzoek/documentatie-links-onderzoek/2020/20200807_n_cooperatief-wonen-in-vlaanderen
- “The housing cooperative thus regains its original character, i.e. an enterprise conducted on the basis of the cooperative ideology, as set out in the cooperative principles stated by the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA), which have also found their way in to Regulation No 1435/2003”. Explanatory Memorandum to the bill introducing the Belgian Companies and Associations Code and various provisions, Parl.St. Kamer 2017-18, no 3119/001, 190 et seq.
- To show a clear difference from “mere” shareholders in a corporation, we use the term “partners” or “cooperators” in this article. Internationally, we refer to these people as “members”, but this seems to cause people to confuse cooperatives with non-profit organisations. Since 16 May 2020, a new legal basis has emerged where the shareholders can be referred to in the articles of association as “shareholders”, “partners”, “cooperators”, “members” or a similar designation.
- A contribution to a cooperative is often a sum of money, but it can also be a contribution in kind. This can take the form of goods, buildings, rights in rem on buildings, goodwill, etc.
- The legal rules for an association of co-owners can be found in Chapter II of the Civil Code. On 1 January 2019, new rules came into effect to optimise apartment rights. These can be found in Articles 162 to 179 of the Law of 18 June 2018 containing various provisions on civil law and provisions promoting alternative forms of dispute resolution.
- Depending on the scale of the cooperative, this manager can be a single person or a team.
- In 2019, Cera organised a four-day study mission to Zurich for some 50 Flemish policymakers, civil servants, project developers and interested professionals. Under the guidance of Architectuurwijzer, they visited animpressive sample of cooperative residential projects, from high-quality traditional-type apartment buildings to inspiring model projects with new housing types (cfr. cluster apartments), collective spaces and flexible multi-use rooms. Kalkbreite was one of the projects visited.
- Building management involves maintenance, repairs and long-term renovation of various parts of the building. This requires good housekeeping skills.
- For more on this subject, see “Op grond van samenwerking, Woningen, voedsel en trage wegen als heruitgevonden commons” (On the basis of cooperation: Homes, food and slow roads as reinvented commons), Annette Kuhk, Dirk Holemans, Pieter Van de Broeck, EPO, 2018; and more specifically the contribution of Marie Mistiaen and Nele Verdonck: “Het goede voorbeeld: wooncoöperatie Kalkbreite in Zürich” (A good example: Kalkbreite housing cooperative in Zurich).
- See also the article by H. Hollebecq in Oikos 20(4), pp. 22-32 (2019). Terug van nooit weggeweest: coöperatief ondernemen. Bedrijven waar klanten, werkers of leveranciers de aandeelhouders zijn. (Back by popular demand (though it never really went away): Cooperative enterprises. Where clients, workers or suppliers are the shareholders).
- De coöperatieve vennootschap: vandaag en morgen (The cooperative society: Today and tomorrow), Jacobs, L. and Hollebecq, H. in “Accountancy en fiscaliteit” (Accountancy and taxation) by Larcier Business, a theme issue within the context of the reform of the Companies and Associations Code (2018)
- TerZake Magazine no 4 (2015), H. Hollebecq, Coöperaties: wat kunnen lokale besturen ermee? (Cooperatives: What can local authorities do with them?).
- See http://architectuurwijzer.be/zurlinden-innoveert-met-woon-en-winkelhuis-badenerstrasse/
- Note that this can be different in other types, such as worker cooperatives, for example. Read more on this topic in the Cera Coop Paper “Impact en succesfactoren van ondernemingen- en werkerscoöperaties” (Impact and success factors of company and worker cooperatives): https://www.cera.coop/nl/cooperaties/info-en-onderzoek/documentatie-links-onderzoek/2020/20200505_n_cera-coop-paper-succesfactoren-ondernemeningencoops-en-werkserscoops. Also, depending on the mission of the housing cooperative, partners might be permitted to take part of the built-up reserves with them when they leave.
- More on this topic in De coöperatieve vennootschap: enkel voor de echte coöperaties? (The cooperative society: Only for the real cooperatives?) Jacobs, L. and Hollebecq, H. in “Accountancy en fiscaliteit” (Accountancy and taxation) by Larcier Business, 19 September 2019.
- Since the introduction of the Companies and Associations Code in 2019, the concept of “capital” has disappeared. This concept has been replaced by a responsibility (on the part of founders, directors and the General Meeting) to always ensure that there are sufficient assets. Solvency denotes whether a company can meet its payment obligations over the longer term. Liquidity is also important: does the enterprise have enough cash in hand to meet its short-term obligations? More information can be found here: https://www.cera.coop/nl/Cooperaties/Info-en-Onderzoek/Juridische-info/14-toereikend-vermogen
- When a cooperative pays out a dividend, it will generally be paid both to residents and to non-residents.
- Holunderhof and Im Gut are two examples of historical cooperatives: http://architectuurwijzer.be/holunderhof/ and http://architectuurwijzer.be/woongebouw-im-gut/
- Interview with Jan De Maeseneer in De Standaard, 12 September 2020: “De ziekenfondsen zullen hun verworven macht achter zich moeten laten” (Health insurance funds will have to leave the power they have gained behind).