Social economy project provides €1.3m to Belgian real estate co-op

The funding helped the co-op secure a new building which will house victims of domestic abuse

Three social and solidarity economy organisations are co-financing a real estate co-op in the Wallonie region of Belgium.

For this project, NewB, a co-op bank set up in 2019, joined up with F’in Common, a sustainable finance co-op, and W.ALTER, a public sector body financing social and co-operative economy projects in Wallonia.

Together, the three organisations granted the Les Tournières co-op, based in Liège, a first line of credit of more than €1.3m. The funding enabled the co-op to acquire a building in the Saint-Léonard district of Liège, which will house ASBL Infirmiers de rue, a charity that provides free medical care to homeless people and Thaïs, an association offering emergency accommodation to women victims of domestic violence.

The project was developed in response to a call for social economy projects to support real estate co-operatives to acquire private housing in Wallonia for women victims of violence. The call for projects was launched the Minister of Social Economy, Social Action and Women’s Rights, Christie Morreale, and aims to create 102 new housing units in Wallonia for women victims of violence and their children by the end of 2022.

Charlaine Provost, general manager of F’in Common, said: “solidarity finance and the social economy are a unique opportunity to leave behind the excesses of traditional finance. We are proud to unite with such partners to help strengthen this ecosystem.”

The funding represents the very first loan allocated by NewB, which is made up of 116,000 co-operators, 351 civil society organisations and 11 institutional investors.