In Douai, an intergenerational residence to take care of each other

Cethe fact of the years that we develop intergenerational residences within the association, we benefit from the capitalization of experiences which work ”, underlines Françoise Delvoye, president of Habitat et Humanisme Nord-Pas-de-Calais. What works, for example, is the students who support the elderly in setting up digital equipment in order to communicate more easily with their families. This is why six students will access one of the lodgings of the new Le Jardin du Carmel residence.

→ READ. Intergenerational cohabitation, a united solution

Like the other tenants, they will be chosen on social criteria, as well as on their adherence to the project and to the “living together” charter that they will sign at the same time as their lease: “A kind of benevolent contract and of ‘taking care’, notes Françoise Delvoye. We are counting on them to be present and attentive to the needs of the more fragile aging people… ”

In Douai, an intergenerational residence to take care of each other

A project that creates links between generations

The Carmelites of Douai, who left the area in 2015, chose to entrust this property to Habitat et Humanisme, sensitive to the action of the association and to this social real estate project that creates links between generations: “I have in mind an elderly lady I met in a residence west of Paris, remembers Françoise Delvoye. She kept looking at her watch because she watched for the exit of school and the return of two children with their mother. She had prepared an apple pie for them to taste it… ”

Like other areas, the Douaisis must respond to an increased demand for housing at very affordable rents and adapted to aging. Close to the center of Douai, the Le Jardin du Carmel residence should accommodate 80 tenants in 2022. It will offer 37 accommodation units. Twenty intended for isolated elderly people, three for students (at the rate of two students per accommodation) and 14 for single-parent families or young people starting their professional life, “Young precarious workers who cannot access housing with a private landlord”, specifies Françoise Delvoye.

A residence inspired by the Familistère de Guise

To facilitate meetings and exchanges between tenants, “The residence was designed a bit like the Familistère de Guise, with passageways that open onto the accommodation and onto the interior courtyard”, details the president of the northern branch of Habitat et Humanisme. This courtyard, which is none other than the old cloister, could be fitted out for children. The old chapel will become a common living and activities room, equipped with a kitchen.

The inhabitants of this intergenerational residence open to the outside will be accompanied by a full-time salaried animator, who will have an on-site office, as will the volunteers of Habitat et Humanisme Nord-Pas-de-Calais or other associations. involved in the project. The Toit et petits pois association will help residents create a shared vegetable garden in the wooded park surrounding the old Carmel.

Many supports

This major project, carried out in conjunction with the architects of the Buildings of France, began at the end of 2020. The work will be spread over sixteen months until the summer of 2022. The company EHD (Entreprendre pour humaniser la dependance) is the master of work of this real estate transaction in partnership with the Foncière d’Habitat et Humanisme.

→ VIDEO. The intergenerational question, an event day

The project is supported and carried by the city, the urban community, the department and other institutional partners attracted by this intergenerational and inclusive project. It is also thanks to the shareholders of Foncière du Mouvement that this place of life has been launched. And that soon the Carmelite bell will ring again.


“It seems fair to me to share my savings”

Marie-Odile, 76 years old, Lyon (Rhône), Underwriter of Entreprendre shares to humanize dependency (EHD)In addition to this, you need to know more about it.

“What interested me in EHD is being able to participate in an action in favor of the most vulnerable with my savings. I’m lucky to have some of it and it just felt right to share it. In addition, the operation of the real estate company pays great respect to the people asked: it is accepted that we may need this money again and wish to recover it. For my part, I started investing since 2003! Since then, I have always been faithful to him. We regularly receive information on projects (reports, photos, beneficiary testimonials): we know what our savings are used for, and for me, this is essential. I know, for example, that this contributes to creating a residence in Douai that will not compartmentalize the elderly, young people, children, single women, but bring together all these people. It fits the way I see society. “


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