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2012 European Co-op Week – CECODHAS (Housing Europe)

Brussels, Belgium

April 25, 2012 - April 26, 2012

ICA Housing was pleased to join with the Co-operative Section of CECODHAS Housing Europe, as part of Co-operatives Europe week, in organising two days of events in Brussels to celebrate the United Nations International Year of Cooperatives 2012 (IYC 2012).


ICA Housing Board of Directors, in collaboration with Co-op Housing – Europe, the co-operative housing section of CECODHAS, the European Liaison Committee for Social Housing, invited members to a series of activities in Brussels during the Cooperative Week in April to celebrate the International Year of Co-operatives 2012. The program included both time to share and celebrate our accomplishments as well as to look ahead to the future.


The ICA Housing Board of Directors held its first 2012 face-to-face meeting. Apart from the regular administrative matters, the Board reviewed the progress made on the 2012 work plan, more specifically in relation to our IYC 2012 program as described above. Here is some specific information worth mentioning:

  • The Board reviewed the proposed Memorandum of Understanding and Co-operation to be signed with Co-op Housing – Europe, the cooperative section of CECODHAS, the European Liaison Committee for Social Housing. Prompted by the need to ensure the democratic rights of its European members from non EU countries, (those members not being eligible for full membership in CECODHAS) ICA Housing proposed to Co-op Housing – Europe the signing of a Memorandum to create ICA Housing Europe. Together the members of Co-op Housing – Europe and ICA Housing European members whether from an EU or non EU country will form ICA Housing Europe. The Memorandum describes the principles and practice of how this partnership will operate and co-ordinate its activities.
  • The Memorandum was presented to, and approved at, the Co-op Housing –Europe meeting at the end of June. Members of ICA Housing will be asked to approve the partnership at the next Plenary meeting to be held in conjunction with the extraordinary assembly of ICA in Manchester at the end of October
  • The Board reviewed the financial situation of ICA Housing and was pleased to note a better performance for 2011 than expected. With an increase of our sectoral income from ICA, and exceptional contributions from three members, TURKKENT, CHF Canada and CDS Co-operatives, ICA Housing ended the year with a small deficit. The increase in revenue allowed us to fulfill our commitments while keeping a safe financial margin. The Board however acknowledged the need for additional contributions from members in 2012 to cover the costs of redesigning our website, a measure made necessary by the changes made to the ICA global website. Members will be asked in the coming weeks for a voluntary financial contribution.
  • Finally, the president of ICA Housing, David Rodgers, informed the Board of the upcoming revision to our strategic plan. 2012 represents the 4th and last year of our current plan. The drafting of our new 4-year plan will be done in conjunction with ICA. This item will be on the agenda at the Manchester meetings.


Our international delegation was welcomed by three beautiful housing co-operatives: Kappelleveld, Floréal and Le Logis, all built at the beginning of the 1920s and with design and layouts influenced by the garden-city movement. The assistance of the co-operative housing federation of Brussels, FESOCOLAB, made this visit possible.

The participants were delighted by everything they saw: the properties, the landscape and surroundings, the history and certainly the warmth of the co-operators that welcomed us. Click here for a description of the co-operatives. Many thanks to FESOCOLAB for their assistance and collaboration and a warm thank you to the co-operatives for their hospitality and courtesy.


Members of ICA Housing and Coop Housing – Europe gathered together to attend the Seminar Cooperative housing – a key model for sustainable housing in Europe organised by CECODHAS Housing Europe. Several presentations were made from representatives of different countries showing the successes and the great accomplishments of housing co-operatives. Click here to see the presentations: Or here to watch the video of ICA Housing members discussing the benefits of co-operative housing in the current financial crisis.

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