This publication is part of an academic collaboration initiative between the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and Delft University of Technology. It seeks to reflect on the development of alternative housing production models that have arisen in response to social, economic and political changes in both contexts. Although these experiences have followed different paths and have had different results, they share a common denominator: the search for alternative housing models that are collaborative, affordable and have the potential for regenerating urban neighbourhoods. We argue that housing that is produced in a collaborative way satisfies specific demands of the community, which have not been fittingly addressed by the dominant housing production models, both in the Chilean and European contexts. The answer to these needs has not been found in the institutions, but in the capacities of the residents who have self-organized and deliberately decided to develop models of collective living.