On the Genesis of Social Rental Agencies in Belgium

On the Genesis of Social Rental Agencies in Belgium
Pascal De Decker
[Paper Žrst received, November 1999; in Ž nal form, March 2001]
Summary. A combination of historical housing policy options together with the housing consequences of the economic crisis and the changes in household structure led to a major housing crisis in Belgium during the 1980s. Since the Belgian government, hampered by severe budget constraints and the paralysing consequences of restructuring, was not able to deal with these new problems, grassroots organisations took the lead in formulating solutions—hence the so-caled new housing initiatives, social rental agencies (SRAs) being the most important ones. Today, less than 20 years later, these social rental agencies are institutionalised and cover a large part of the country. This paper elaborates on the birth and rise of the SRAs Ž rst by looking at the causes of the housing crisis and secondly by analysing the grassroots reactions.

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