The Reef

A cohousing called The Reef

We are a group of people building a cohousing in Brussels.



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.

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Living together

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.

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.

Privacy will be an important value too. Participation in communal activities will never be mandatory.

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Building The Reef

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 like architects, lawyers and construction companies. We also work with a coach and other experts to help 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 on June 6, 2024. If you would like to be present, we would be grateful if you could fill in the registration form.

If you are interested to stay informed about The Reef, you can also subscribe to our mailing list.

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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?

  • Building a cohousing is a process that takes a few years.
  • We are now in the stage of enlarging the group and scouting Brussels for a suitable plot of land.
  • After that we will purchase a site together and start building.

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 two mini-Reeflings who are too young to give their consent to have their picture online. They are called Ada (3) and Edgar (0). 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.


Mix of eco-enthusiast and eco-depressed, tries to find a balance in town.


Adopted by Brussels since 1995, incredible experiences here and a lot of happiness.



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.



An urbanism nerd who also loves dancing and gardening. Sometimes does both at the same time.


Data science wizard, doing sport like he breathes. Always up for a good Belgian beer… after exercise !


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