ICA Housing Board meeting - Istanbul: Business Focussed and Moving Testimony

Jun 27, 2011 - Jun 27, 2011

Here are some of the highlights of the meeting.

Reaching out and Recruiting

Jointly developed by ICA Geneva and ICA sectoral organizations, a membership strategy was approved by the Board. In the months to come, current ICA members who have expressed an interest in housing will be invited to participate in ICA Housing. This strategy is another piece to formalise the new membership direction in the ICA: a membership with ICA is a membership in all ICA sectors.

The Board also received a preliminary analysis of potential housing co-operative organizations that should be invited to join ICA. A work in progress, the list identifies close to 70 organizations to contact. Special efforts will be made to reach out to these organizations and hopefully inspire them to be part of the co-operative movement.

Helping Members

Our first priority “helping our members” took its full meaning during the last board meeting.

ICA Housing Board jointly with CECODHAS Housing Europe supported the efforts of its member in Poland, the Auditing Union of Housing Co-operatives, to stop the approval of two new pieces of legislation that will be detrimental to housing co-operatives development and democratic functioning if implemented. The letter sent to polish officials signed by ICA Housing and CECODHAS Housing Europe presidents also highlighted the fact that these bills as currently drafted contravene the European Union legislation and Poland’s obligations under the Treaty on European Union as well as Poland’s international obligations with respect to the International Labour Organization (ILO) Resolution 193.

Dealing with a halted development since 2002, our member Türkkent invited the board to hold its meeting in Istanbul with the view to use this opportunity to showcase to Turkish officials successful international partnerships between the housing co-operative movement and governments. More than 30 international and Turkish representatives participated in a Round Table where the international initiatives presented led to interesting discussions. The Round Table was followed by the Symposium Co-operative and Community-led Regeneration Partnerships (click here to access the Symposium presentations). It is now the goal of Türkkent to put forward a proposal for a new housing co-operative development model in Turkey. Türkkent was the developer of several thousands of housing units for many years. It should continue to be a partner in the establishment of good housing conditions in Turkey.

Planning 2012 International Year of Cooperatives (IYC)

The countdown to the 2012 IYC has started. The launch of the Year will take place next November during the General Assembly of ICA in Cancun, Mexico. Co-operative organizations all over the world are getting ready to celebrate this important milestone; ICA Housing too.

Here is what the board has agreed:

  • Design a banner that can be used by housing co-operatives during the Year; ICA Housing will promote the use of the IYC logo and banner as widely as possible.

  • Exercise ICA Housing leadership by bringing a recommendation to the General Assembly of ICA next November in Cancun to secure the commitment of ICA membership to use FSC timber in renovation/maintenance/construction projects.

  • Unite forces with CECODHAS Housing Europe - Co-operatives Section to publish updated country profiles for all ICA Housing member countries.

  • Recommend to housing co-operatives around the world the adoption of good governance principles based on the good governance framework developed by the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada (CHF Canada).

  • Organize a Co-op Housing Development Conference in Africa. Kenya and South Africa are both being considered as possible venues for this initiative.

Watch for our e-bulletins to hear about the progress on these initiatives.

Learning from Members – Facts and Emotion

Board meetings are always unique opportunities to hear more about what is happening with our members. During the last meeting, we were pleased to receive 3 presentations. Mr Muhammad Sharif Bhaiji, from the Karachi Co-operative Housing Unions Society, Pakistan, and ICA Housing Board member, presented a report of the progress of their housing and consumer co-operatives.To see the report, click here.

Mr. Bhagwati Prasad from the Co-operative House Building and Finance Corporation in India, a new ICA Housing member, provided a brief overview of its organization. To see the report, click here.

Last but not least, Mr. Mohamed El Mesiry, from the Housing Co-operative Federation of Egypt presented a moving video about the events of the January 2011 revolution that led to a change of government in Egypt. There was not much to say after viewing the video; we can just hope that respect and democratic ruling would one day prevail everywhere for the well being of everyone. Click here to see this moving video.

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