The Reef in English

A cohousing called The Reef

We are a group of people building a cohousing in Brussels. We have secured a site in Chaussée de Jette, and are now moving to complete the group, obtain a building permit and start construction. We are still looking for about 10 singles and families to join the project.



The Reef’s foundational values are sustainability, diversity and hospitality.

In The Reef, each household will have its own private apartment. We will also share a number of common spaces such as a garden, a coworking space, a guest room, a common living room etc. Privacy will be an important value too. Participation in communal activities will never be mandatory.

We want The Reef to be a place of hospitality and a place where people from the neighbourhood can meet up and set up activities.

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We have secured an option for a site located in Chaussée de Jette, numbers 469-475 (openstreetmap). The street is low-traffic, but the neigbourhood itself is lively and well-served by shops and services. Parc Elisabeth and the Simonis and Belgica metro stations are less than a 10-minutes walk away.

We plan to build about 20 units, plus about 200 square meters of common spaces, and to leave 1,100 square meters for the common garden. The common spaces are the main asset of a cohousing. Sharing some spaces such as a garden, a guest room or a coworking space makes it possible to live in smaller (hence cheaper) private units without losing any comfort.

More about the Chaussée de Jette site - download

A self-managed project

The Reef is a self-managed project. We will not contract a project developer but will work together as a collaborative group. Every household is expected to actively contribute to making The Reef work. Building a cohousing as a self-managed group is a lengthy process, but it is well worth it.

For all the technical jobs we have contracted professionals with substantial experience of building cohousings in Brussels. We work with the Brussels architects’ studio Stekke and Fraas; with the notary Pierre-Yves Erneux. A coach, Mark Van den Dries, helps us work together as efficiently as possible.

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Join us

The shortest path to join The Reef is to attend a public presentation, where we present our project in further detail.

The next presentation will take place probably in early September 2024. If you are interested to stay informed about The Reef, we recommend you subscribe to our mailing list.

Learn more


The Reef is committed to open source. Our key documents are accessible and available for everyone to use freely.


Why did you choose English as the common language?

  • We chose English because this is the language that we use among us. Most of us do speak some French or Dutch, but it doesn’t come easy to all of us.
  • By choosing a language that is non-native for most people in Brussels, we figure we will level the playing field.
  • When we recruit new Reeflings we will strive to compose a group such that there are no majority language groups.

Which language do you speak with the children in The Reef?

  • Most of the mini-Reeflings learn French in the creche or at school, and so we will mostly speak French with them (or English of course if that is what they prefer).

When can we move in?

  • On 3 June 2024 we have secured the Jette plot. If all goes according to plan, we will move in in 2027.
  • We are now in the stage of enlarging the group and preparing a detailed project for the cohousing. After that we will start construction.

Why aren’t pets allowed in the common spaces?

  • Pets are not allowed in the common spaces (including the garden) to enable inclusion: some people are allergic, others may be scared, and so it’s easier to have a clear agreement.
  • Pets tend to be a controversial topic in many cohousings, and so it was recommended to us to not allow them at all, especially dogs. We didn’t want to go this far though, and so we agreed to just keep the common spaces pet free.

I would be interested to join but I can’t make it to the public meeting. What should I do?

  • Attending the public meeting is strongly recommended.
  • If you really can’t make it, send us an email or subscribe to our newsletter and we’ll keep you informed.

Is there a more complete description of The Reef as you imagine it now?

Yes, it’s here.


Here you can find the short bios of all of The Reef’s adults.

We also have three mini-Reeflings who are too young to give their consent to have their picture online. They are called Ada (3), Edgar (0) and Marius (7). Other mini-Reeflings are not so mini anymore and may make their Reefling parents proud grandparents in the near future.



Environmental policy nerd. Lover of all things authentic and absurd.



Web Designer with a legal background. Likes cooking for others.



Leadership and organisational development. Art lover.



Economist, ex-minor rockstar, runner.



Linguist and bookworm. Loves soup, cycling and company.



Health carer. Major plants addict. Laughter adept. Sun worshipper.



Caring, gardening, laughing Kiwi, with a passion for hummus.



Train nerd who is into cooking, sports, and outside activities. Eager to learn!


Feminist, book nerd, painter and swimmer. Also rollerskater -like a good 80’s child.



Historically compassionate vegetable.



Curious person who loves waking up with sunshine & coffee, reading, hiking, cycling & camping.



Loves manual work, marvels at the beauty of nature, adores sleeping in.


Forever curious; likes conversation.



Storyteller, curious, cultural events-addicted.


Queer-feminist. Love for learning & food. Handy. Wild life with binoculars.


Ocean-loving, book-addicted, trail-running, number-crunching researcher, also trying to be a mom.



Sax-playing and kite-driven foodie.


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