Cohousing or houses together is growing in Flanders. The principle is simple: different people are together owner of one large lot of land or a large building and divide it into several units. A well-known 'cohouser' is Bruno, the brother of NV -A politician Bart De Wever. The VTM program Telefacts drew on research.
cohousingTen years ago bought Bruno De Wever with four other families a castle in Deurne, near Antwerp. "We saw an ad in the regional newspaper“ castle for sale in Deurne North for 7.5 million Belgian francs. We thought 7.5 million Belgian francs, is that possible? It was a ruin on a plot of 3,500 square m... a lot of people have declared us as crazy.“ Today attend the De Wevers and their friends in a beautifully renovated castle slot. They have their privacy but share the garden and some other rooms. “The luxury we have now, would you, as a couple alone in such a unique property, hardly be able to afford,” said De Wever.
In Flanders 177 projects 'housing together' though exist in the meantime, and there are 44 more in the pipeline (2013). “It is booming,” says Roland Kums, of the association, Housing together. "But it is still relatively unknown to local authorities, banks and notaries, and that complicates some projects. If, say, 10 people have put their signature under one deed of purchase, is that fast perceived as complicated. Many projects have dragged seven years before they were adopted."said Kums.

In Vinderhoute, in East Flanders, is the largest cohousing project in Flanders under construction. 17 families have bought land and put it all together, each in a house of approximately €350,000. “But what makes it really special is our common 'pavilion” said Federico Bishop, the founder and co-owner “This pavilion will cost about 500,000 euro. We provide a large play area for children, extra beds and even a communal living where we might want to use and to run a kind of cinema. Outside, there is also a sauna and even a swimming pond: but that will at last only cost 2,000 euros per couple."

But at cohousing any purchase, any adjustment should be decided by consensus together. “We have already held more than 1,000 meetings, for anything and everything,” said Federico. (mvdb, Breaking News, 14/112011)

Democracy: give the others the impression that they co-decide (Juul Kinnaer)