- Low-income housing assistance was first provided by private charities. Groups such as the Société anonyme des habitations ouvrières and the Société anonyme de l'Immobilière bruxelloise were extended credit by the city's public assistance agency, Hospice de Bruxelles. Growing worker discontent in the late 19th century led to pressures to systematize efforts but, aside from larger financial outlays by the city, no concrete steps were taken. The first public housing was erected in 1907, the Cité Ouvrière, comprising 272 units located between rues Blaes, de la Rasière, and des Vers. It was managed by an agency created by the city, the Société d'habitation à bon marché, under the name Le Foyer bruxellois. The Foyer acquired dilapidated buildings and carried out demolition, rebuilding, and remodeling of dwellings.In existence since 1994, the Brussels Regional Housing Authority (Société de Logement de la Région bruxelloise/Brussels Gewest-elijke Huisvestingsmaatschappij) works to make housing available to low-income residents by promoting creation of public real estate companies, acquiring real estate and building and renovating premises, granting loans to third parties for renovation work, and maintaining inventories of area needs.
Historical Dictionary of Brussels. Paul F. State.
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