Participative housing

Assistance in defining housing programs


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FR France


About the project Edit

For several years, a new form of housing is reappearing in many initiatives in France. This kind of housing – sometimes called group, cooperative, solidarity and even participative – positions itself as an alternative solution to traditional systems and claims to be another credible way to produce housing.

The complexity of participative housing projects requires cooperative approaches between stakeholders in construction and residents.

The project strives to support future residents in defining their pre-program through collective workshops that are given by supportive professionals from the social and solidarity economy.

In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

Project initiators have their own values and principles. They determine the shape that their residence will have and sometimes reinvent ways of working that are already used by professionals. Nevertheless, we can consolidate best practices with the same objectives that is to create a new way of designing, producing a residence, but mostly, to take ownership.

Past experiences show that the group of future residents need the help of a professional stakeholder (called an Assistant to the Contracting Authority or ACA) to support them during the initial phase, then a construction professional in the concept-execution phase (notably cooperative builder).

What is the social value of this project? Edit

It is a training approach for future residents that builds autonomy around their collective program. How do we build a program together? How do we make decisions and share the collective ownership of that program?

These workshops encourage future residents to take ownership of urban planning challenges. They allow reflection on the shared vision of the shared collective project (my private spaces and shared spaces). Finally, this working time serves to build bargaining on expectations (collective choice of a piece of land, individual expectations, possible pooling of resources, etc.).

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

A suggestion was made to disseminate online the work methods being practiced in the workshops to allow other groups to invest in the implementation.

Several participative housing networks exist and could relay information.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

A workshop in a forum on social and solidarity economy was held in May 2010.
A work group in the country of Brest.

It is a concern for the City of Brest under the Housing and Social and Solidarity Housing policy.

What is the business model of this project? Edit

Public funding (administrative management and workshop animation) and participation of those who benefit (workshop animation).


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