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 will be 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 will of course contract professionals like architects, lawyers and construction companies. We will 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 probably take place in January 2024. The date will be confirmed via The Reef’s 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.



Science and innovation enthusiast, food and books lover, aspiring to be nature-grounded.



unstoppable book reader (FR, Spanish, Eng.), microbes enthusiast, food lover.


Feminist. Likes singing (classical), cycling and languages.



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


The Reef is a proud partner of

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Click where? Unfortunately I’ll be in England on 21 April, but would like to keep in touch.

Haha, this is only a prototype website, Simon! I will send you a personal invitation when we are ready (probably in a week from now).

A post was split to a new topic: More on The Reef

@alberto and @manuelpueyo: I think Simon’s comment makes it clear that the approach taken in the form is not right.
I think we need two forms:

  1. Yes I can make it to the presentation, please send me the address

  2. No I can’t make it but I would like to stay informed

I don’t know where you are with transforming the Google form into a Nextcloud one. Can you please tell me what to do or else take over?


@manuelpueyo , @ugne , @Sabine_B_Frank and @Malcolm : if you still agree with the idea of having your picture in the “who are we” section on the website, can you please send a picture to @alberto ASAP?

Many thanks!

ok. @alberto i put them already in the nextcloud

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@manuelpueyo I can’t see them, maybe you have stored them in a non-shared folder? Also, can I ask you to prioritize recreating Lie’s form in NextCloud?

@alberto I added a line at the bottom of our website to lead visitors to the brochure. Can you please link it to the version on Nextcloud? Thanks!

If you refer to the last FAQ, it already leads to

It’s the very last line on the website, the one that says “Read more about how we picture The Reef in detail in the Reef’s brochure”. The word “brochure” should have a URL to the brochure on the Nextcloud.

I found the document on the Nextcloud, but when I tried to hyperlink it, it seems that it is only accessible to people with an account. Can you please have a look? Thanks!

Excuse my IT ignorance once more, but are we giving people access to the entire Nextcloud?

No. That link resolves to a login page for people who are not logged in already.

@asimong, I recall you could not make the 18th of April… we have now scheduled a second public meeting, on June 2nd. Info and reservations on the site,, then click on “Meet us”. :slight_smile:

@alberto and @manuelpueyo: I don’t know who of you made the edits to the “Meet the group” section, but I did not feel comfortable with putting the registration form for the workshop online for anybody to register.

The reasons for this are twofold:

  1. We have an implicit policy that only people who attended the presentations can attend the workshop. This is because we want to make sure that we only engage with people who understand our process in detail.
  2. We already have 15 participants (11 guests + us), and so given the enthusiasm at the last presentation I am afraid that we will get more people than we can comfortably host (and get to know in one day).

Therefore I removed this bit of text, and I added a sentence about the fact that we are not complete yet under the heading “Joining The Reef” (which is the intuitive place for this IMHO). I hope this is ok and otherwise happy to discuss of course.

I also created a new section “Documents” that links to the wiki with the key documents.

Finally, for the sake of transparency: I also removed the link to the registration form for the 2 June presentation in the “Contact” section.

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it makes sense not to add the link. it was not me :slight_smile:

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Plead guilty.

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