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Winter 2010

  • ICA Housing Board News;
  • Symposiums on Financing Housing Co-Operatives In The Aftermath Of The Global Financial Crisis & Co-Operative Responses To The Climate Change Challenge;
  • Next Rendezvous: Istanbul, Turkey;
  • Housing Co-operatives in Australia, Canada, Egypt, France, Pakistan, Slovakia, United States
  • Board Vacancy – Looking for someone to join the team


News from the ICA Housing Board

Board 2010

The ICA Housing Board had a full agenda at its meeting held on October 6 in London.  The Board welcomed several guests:  Mr. Luciano Caffini, president of the Co-operative Section of CECODHAS Co-operative Europe, General Mohamed Elmesiry, chairman of the Egyptian Co-operative Housing Federation, Mr Charles Gould, the new ICA director-general, and Mr Pete Kirkham and Ms Sarah Trudelle, representatives of Habicoop, from France.  Their presence contributed to a stimulating and productive meeting.  In addition to administrative matters, the Board discussed two main topics that will impact on the work program of the ICA Housing in the future:

The ICA Sectoral Discussion

The Board received a report from the President of ICA Housing, David Rodgers, on the ongoing discussion about the future and place of the sectoral organizations within the ICA, in which he had been actively involved.  He presented its views to Mr. Gould and debated with Mr. Gould his suggestions on the representation, co-ordination of activities and financing of the sectors.  The discussion was positive and constructive and the Board was pleased to hear Mr. Gould’s view, that the eight business sectoral organizations of the ICA were central to the representation and participation of members and the added value to ICA members through the exchange of knowledge, expertise and best practice. Mr. Gould shared the Housing Board’s view that the future of the sectoral organization is central to the future of the ICA.  There are a number of items that are yet to be resolved.  Financing was a major one, but ensuring that all the sectors were genuinely representative and encouraged participation from all ICA members who operated co-operative enterprises in each sector being a major one although Mr. Gould acknowledged that ICA Housing was effective in its representation and level of member participation.

The International Year of Co-operatives 2012: “Co-operative Enterprises Build a Better World”

Mr Gould presented the ICA strategy – a global awareness campaign – for the International Year of Co-operatives in 2012.  The strategy aims to demonstrate to the general public everywhere in the world the presence of co-operatives in their lives and consequently how successful the co-operative model is.  As Mr Gould states “Our goal is to arouse curiosity in the general public enough for them to search for more information”.  A logo and a message are being developed for the use of the ICA co-operative family and will be made available in early 2011.  The official launch of International Year of Co-operatives will be at the UN headquarters and is planned for late October-early November 2011.

At the next board meeting, the ICA Housing Board will discuss how ICA Housing can be involved in the awareness campaign and welcomes suggestions for IYC 2012 activities from members.

Presentations from Habicoop, France and Karachi Co-operative Housing Societies Union, Pakistan

ICA Housing Board also received presentations on the work of the Karachi Housing Societies Union, Pakistan and Habicoop, France. (see below for more information)

I trust you will find this e-news bulletin informative and I send fraternal greetings to all fellow housing co-operators and the organizations which support them.

David Rodgers

President, ICA Housing Sector Organization

The ICA Housing London Symposium: A Real Success

ICA Housing symposium 2010

The ICA London Housing Symposium held on October 7 and 8 was a real success with over 100 participants from more than 15 countries and four continents gathering in London for the two-day event.  It fulfilled the two objectives the ICA Housing Board of Directors had set: hearing the views of experts and providing a stimulating setting for discussion and exchange.

Day one focused on

Financing Housing Co-Operatives In The Aftermath Of The Global Financial Crisis; Day two on Co-Operative Responses To The Climate Change Challenge. Mr. David Rodgers, president of ICA Housing agreed that, at its next meeting, the Board of ICA Housing will consider adopting a motion to support ACT, Cooperatives Addressing the Climate Threat, in their representation to ICA Geneva to link the International Year of Co-operatives with the climate change goals.  The Board will also consider issuing a call to all members of the ICA at the next General Assembly in Cancun in 2012 to make a commitment to use only FSC certified timber by the end of 2012. The symposium also received presentations from ICA Housing members on their efforts to address the climate change threat.

Dame Pauline Green, president of ICA closed the Symposium with a very inspiring speech calling everyone to join ICA in its strategy for the International Year of Co-operatives to show the world the successes and the importance of co-operatives, even more in a world facing severe environmental, financial and leadership challenges.

Mr David Rodgers, president of ICA Housing, also took the opportunity to remind everyone of the urgent needs in Pakistan following the disastrous floods in July and invited them to donate through the UK’s Disasters Emergency Committee, which is raising funds to assist the people in Pakistan.

Click here to download the presentations from both days of the Symposium.

 Australia – The Phoenix – The South East Housing Co-operative

SEHC - The Phoenix

Written by David Griffiths, this 64 page booklet provides an overview of the history of the South East Housing Co-operative located in Dandenong, Victoria, Australia.  It also gives the reader an interesting perspective of the overall housing co-operative development in the province of Victoria.

Click here to find out more about SECH or here to download a PDF copy of the booklet

Canada – Could Co-operative Housing be Reinvented for the 21st Century?

This dramatic 11-storey building is Toronto's first housing co-operative in 20 years.

A series of articles have been published by The Tyee, an independent daily online magazine in the province of British Columbia, Canada “dedicated to publishing lively, informative news and views”.  The Tyee invited a panel of Canadian co-operative housing experts to discuss the following questions:

  • Affordable homes: is a co-op in your future?
  • How about owning just part of your home?
  • Government money is there to revive co-op housing.
  • How to revive co-ops? Band them together.

Click here to download the articles

Egypt – A New Co-operative Housing Country Profile Available

The co-operative housing profile for Egypt is now available on our website.  As you know, these profiles provide a brief overview of the housing co-operative sector in a particular country.  They are done with the collaboration of the country’s housing co-operators.

Click here to download the profile for Egypt.

France – Habicoop: Developing A New Form Of Housing Co-Operative

Representatives of Habicoop gave a presentation of their organization and their work to the ICA Housing Board’s London meeting.  They are developing a new form of housing co-operative, “les coopératives d’habitants”, different than the current HLM housing co-operatives found in France.  A pilot project is currently being developed: the “Village Vertical” in Villeurbanne.

Click here to download their presentation.

Pakistan – The Karachi Co-operative Housing Societies Union

The managing director of the Karachi Co-operative Housing Societies Union and ICA Housing Board member, Mr. Muhammad Sharif Bhaiji, made a presentation of the Union’s work and structure.  The Union is a major player in the province of Sindh building houses, schools, public and commercial amenities.  Mr. Bhaiji also gave the Board an overview of the disastrous flood that devastated part of Pakistan in July 2010.

Mr. Bhaiji’s presentation is available here.

Slovakia – A New Co-operative Housing Country Profile Available

The co-operative housing profile for Slovakia is now available on our website.  As you know, these profiles provide a brief overview of the housing co-operative sector in a particular country.  They are done with the collaboration of the country’s housing co-operators.

Click here to download the Slovakia profile.

United States – Student Housing Co-operatives in North America

Jim Jones, the Executive Director of the North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO) has written a comprehensive article on student housing co-operatives in North America.  You can find the article on the website of the Co-operative Learning Centre, a joint venture of the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the British Columbia Institute for Co-operative Studies.

Next Rendezvous: Istanbul, Turkey

Mark your calendar for the next Symposium to be held on 28-29 June 2011 in Istanbul.  ICA Housing and its member TURKKENT have started the planning of the event.  The theme of the Symposium is Successful Community-led Regeneration Projects through Constructive Partnership between Governments and Housing Co-operatives.  A site visit of housing co-operatives is also planned.  More information will be up on the website early next year but keep the dates open for another informative event.

Tell us what you need from ICA Housing

A key part of ICA Housing’s strategy is to offer to support and respond to the needs of members.  We are also keen to develop our ‘added value’ service offer to ICA housing co-operative members. Please contact us if you need information and/or assistance and tell us what additional services you think we could provide to members.

Final Word:  Board Vacancy – Looking for someone to join the team

There is a position vacant on the Board for a three-year term ending in 2013.  Being an ICA Housing Board member involves 2 face-to-face meetings and 2 electronic meetings per year as well as contributing your expertise, knowledge and contacts to assist in the activities of ICA Housing.  Each board member’s organization must be ready to pay for their expenses in attending Board meetings.

ICA Housing Board is keen to improve the gender balance of its members, so particularly welcomes applications from women interested in joining the Board. We are also keen to extend representation from other regions, such as Africa, the Pacific sub-region and South America. If you are an ICA Housing member (or wish to become one) and are interested in nominating a representative to join the Board, please send a letter to the ICA Housing Secretariat for the attention of Mr Nicholas Gazzard, the current president of ICA Housing.  The Board of Directors will review the application at its next meeting.


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