A vision of the future in Nieuw Gent, Source: City of Ghent

Ghent gives massive investment support to social housing programmes

Ghent gives massive investment support to social housing programmes

Local authorities say Flemish financing leaves little breathing room for expansion, prompting the City to stand by the socially vulnerable

Yesterday, the city of Ghent in Belgium announced it will invest around 22.5 million euros into expanding the existing social housing stock. The lion’s share of the investment, 17.9 million will go to WoninGent, allowing them to construct and structurally renovate more than 3,000 rental homes.

WoninGent has used the financing to kick-start Nieuw Gent Vernieuwt (New Gent Renovation), an ambitious project to create a new social housing district in the city.  

Providing enough financial breathing room

Usually, social housing companies in Flanders are financed through the Flemish government; however, according to Tine Heyse, Ghent’s Alderman of Housing, the funding is not enough to give them enough breathing room.

This is why local authorities have opted to provide additional support, so the companies can focus on construction, expansion and renovations. They see the demand for high-quality and affordable social housing services as a top priority.

Thanks to the investment, WoninGent will be able to construct a whopping 1,092 social rental homes and structurally renovate a further 2,049.

Nieuw Gent Vernieuwt is breaking ground

WoninGent will use the subsidies to finance Nieuw Gent Vernieuwt (New Gent Renovation) a project for the redevelopment of six defunct social housing towers in the city. They have already started construction on two buildings with a total of 74 apartments and the project is set to be completed in the summer of 2023.

The buildings will be close to the district health centre, an outdoor sports facility, bicycle parking and charging stations. Furthermore, they will be surrounded by a redeveloped large green space, with a local square.

Plans for Nieuw GentThe Nieuw Gent Vernieuwt Plan, Source: City of Ghent

These are the six priorities of the Nieuw Gent Vernieuwt:

  1. New apartment buildings.
  2. The area will be redesigned after 2024. The number of local parking spaces will remain the same, but they will be spread out around the district.
  3. New groups of apartments will be built in the park where the 6 residential towers now stand. Each group of apartments will have a courtyard garden.
  4. The large green park between the buildings will be completely renovated and will have walking paths and meeting places, community gardens and sporting facilities.
  5. Better walking and cycling paths.
  6. Demolished social housing.

Marc Heughebaert, the chairman of WoninGent was quoted in a press release saying: “Our company is grateful for the City’s major efforts and willingness to make Ghent a place for the socially vulnerable. The investment subsidies ensure that WoninGent can continue to build and provide decent, comfortable homes for a very vulnerable public.”



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