This contribution explores perspectives on different alternative housing possibilities among different groups of older people in Brussels. As defined by Lawton (1981) alternative forms of housing is whatever form that can not be placed within the traditional group of
residences. A common element among them is the relatively small scale and the fact that they are more custom-built for people whose needs or resources do not fit into the mold of traditional housing types. In a large extensive qualitative study on aging in place, housing and care in Brussels, organized in 20112012, there was a specific attention for alternative forms of housing. The research project comprised 18 focus groups with a wide range of participants: third & fourth age (8), vulnerable older people (3), and older migrants
(7). Different forms such as Abbeyfield housing, cohousing and granny flats are being discussed as well as
their strengths and deficits. Results suggest that a large part of the respondents are open to these new ideas.
Autonomy, affordability, not being alone when something would happen and the possibility of staying in the
familiar neighborhood are seen as advantages by the different groups. Overall, findings suggest that
alternative forms of housing are not a generalized solution, however, we can conclude that they are important
additions to the range of housing choices available for older people. More information could support the
visibility of existing forms towards older people. Results suggest that more research is necessary for future
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication67th Annual Scientific Meeting of The Gerontological Society of America, Washington D.C., USA
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event67th Annual Scientific Meeting of The Gerontological Society of America - Washington, D.C., United States
Duration: 5 Nov 20149 Nov 2014


Conference67th Annual Scientific Meeting of The Gerontological Society of America
CountryUnited States
CityWashington, D.C.

    Research areas

  • Alternative Housing, Older people, Cohousing, Brussels

ID: 2533512