Round-up from Co-operative Housing International

23 Jun 2014

In 2014 Co-operative Housing International adopted a number of changes designed to enhance the organisation’s identity.

Formerly known as the ICA Housing, the sectorial organisation of the International Co-operative Alliance changed its name into Co-operative Housing International to better reflect its ethos. The new co-operative marque is also included in Co-operative Housing International’s new wordmark. Along with a new name, they have also launched a new website

This year Co-operative Housing International has also been working on aligning its programme with the Blueprint for a Co‑operative Decade.

Co-operative Housing International believes that for members of housing co-ops to embrace the Blueprint and share its values, it must be relevant to their daily experience. Thus the board of Co-operative Housing International is working on an interpretation of the Blueprint that speaks to the specific business requirements of co-operative housing.

Co-operative Housing International is also active in the Sector Organization Liaison Group (SOLG). Under the leadership of Kathy Bardswick and José Carlos Guisado, the SOLG wants to forge closer ties between the different business sectors within the Alliance and generally raise the awareness of the Group and the contribution of its members to the global movement. Co-operative Housing International strongly supports this direction for the sectors and will continue to engage actively with the SOLG membership.

In 2012 Co-operative Housing International developed and adopted the Good Governance Charter for Housing Co‑operatives. Last year they built on the Charter and presented the International Good Governance Test to their members in Cape Town. To continue this work they are currently completing the project with the delivery of a software application that allows housing co-ops to take the Good Governance Test and get tabulated results and feedback instantaneously. Co-operative Housing International will share this application with all its members.

Quebec City Symposium

One of the highlights for Co-operative Housing International this year is their participation at the International Summit of Co-operatives in Quebec.

Nicholas Gazzard, President of Co-operative Housing International, said: “Our main event for Co-operative Housing International members in 2014 will be a symposium at the Summit in Quebec City on one element of the Blueprint: legal frameworks for housing co-operatives.

“Supportive legal frameworks are as important for housing co-operatives as they are for any other form of co-operative enterprise. Where they are strong, co-operative housing has the potential to thrive and grow. Where they are weak, under threat or non-existent, both the development and the continued stable operations of housing co-operatives are similarly threatened.”

The seminar session will feature different speakers that will focus on the strengths and weaknesses of legal frameworks in their home countries.

“We will hear about what is working and what is not and we will identify best practices in enabling legal frameworks that can be transferred to other jurisdictions,” explained Mr Gazzard.

The symposium will take place from 2 – 5 p.m. at the Quebec Convention Centre on 6 October. Co-operative Housing International welcomes anyone with an interest in the presentations and discussion.