Thank you for being here …
> We have invited the members of the Walloon Eco-construction cluster to discover an Habitat project that will be launched next year by a public call for tenders.
We are speaking of 4,5 Hectares located in a small old manufacturing city, Verviers, that was once prosperous …
> The idea is to build an eco-quartier for about 200 dwellings, partly cohousing project, partly co-building and participatory site, including a Makerspace centered on Housing, but also some in a more traditional way.
> We hope to take onboard among the future inhabitants, seniors and persons with reduced mobility, as well as other people with few resources.
> The participants to the meeting could decide to step in and work together or stay out.
It’s nearly 10:00 on Tuesday, it’s cold outside, people are coming in slowly, shaking hands of the other members they know.
*[We can now start !]*
Good morning Ladies and gentlemen.
I suggest you to start.
First: Thanks to the Eco-construction Cluster for welcoming us this morning !
Let me introduce you to the people who will share with you the HDB project.
Mr Vidal from the SPI (Economic Development Agency for the province of Liège), Hubert Sauvage, architect probably known from every one here *(:wink: he is the vice-president of the Cluster)* and finally me, Didier from Habity, the initiator of this meeting.
I am committed to passing on the big thanks of a few people that you that you probably already know or will get to know soon …
Nicole with whom I recently had dinner and who told me how, thanks to you, she was able to build the nest in which we were,
Jean who has built his house with the participatory building team represented here,
Alice and her grandpa who were discussing at the border of the Vesdre river,
Pablo, his wife Marie and their new born Petit Jean, who insisted to relay the fact that due to your work in Verviers they have been able to create a safe and happy place for them,
and finally from Paula, I found her working in the carpentry of the HabLab Maker space you’ve created years ago.
A few years ago, in 2020, they were all dreaming of a place of life that can accommodate them.
They became aware of a Habitat project that was starting in their city, Verviers.
Nicole, Jean, Alice, her grandpa, Marie and Pablo, Paula had a lot of questions who were rushing into their heads …
Every one of them had different dreams but also different financial and temporal means.
* How would the neighborhood look like ?
* Would the project take into account the needs of the disabled and the elderly ?
* Is there place for self-builders ?
* When will the houses be built ?
* Would it be possible for them to acquire or rent a home there ?
* What are the real estate developer’s offers ?
* What would the prices be ?
* How to find an architect ? A contractor ?
* Would the bank accept a loan in their situation ?
* How will they find the personal financial contribution required by the bank ?
They learned that open days were organized on the site and decided to attend.
They realized that this was not a classic real estate development and that several formulas were available to them.
They found personal advices and support to build the specific path they were looking for.
Today, Nicole is working at the local food shop that was created three years ago, she’s in charge of the relations with the farmers from Verviers’ food belt.
She’s one of the first resident of the cohabitation group launched on the site.
Just nearby, Jean built his house with the help of his neighbors and some people coming from all over the places during participatory building events.
A nice experience that allowed him to raise with his hands his family dream and also save a bunch of money if not time.
The young Alice and her grandpa can be often found at the border of the Vesdre river, strolling and sharing beautiful moments together.
The entire site was designed in such a way that it could be very easy to roam on the sidewalks and public spaces even with a wheelchair.
I let you imagine the crazy races they make there …
Pablo, his wife Marie and their new born Petit Jean are now living in an apartment at the border of the river.
Marie is working at the medical house located at 100 m from there, taking care of the elderly.
Petit Jean is already playing at the locale nursery.
As for Pablo, he is active in the cooperative which started at the beginning of the project to help the inhabitants to create and arrange their houses.
Paula is the ruler of the carpentry within the HabLab cooperative she co-founded.
She created every day beautiful design woodwork but also help people that want to learn to create their own chairs and tables or some children’s furniture.
Once the basic steps are mastered, the apprentices can access the machinery available in the workshop.
These dreams are waiting to be fulfilled.
Do you want to help turn those dreams into reality ?