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10 minutes with Jiri Barta, Newly Elected President of SCMBD, Czech Republic

Meet the faces behind housing providers across Europe

Prague, 2 September 2015 | Social, Urban, Economy, Energy
Jiri Barta, newly elected president of SCMBD
Jiri Barta, newly elected president of SCMBD

Every month we introduce you to one of the people leading the work of our member organisations. In this edition, we have the pleasure to introduce you to the newly elected president of our Czech member organisation, SCMBD, Jiri Barta who succeeds one devoted partner and former Housing Europe President, Vít Vaníček.



  • I would describe SCMBD in 10 words as a special interest organisation of housing co-ops established in 1969.
  • Our key objective is to associate legal entities of the same professional orientation, i.e. housing co-ops, and to represent their common interests towards legislative, executive and judicial authorities of the country.
  • Apart from housing provision, our mission is to organize and support various schemes which help member co-ops to repair and maintain their housing stock, and to reduce their costs.
  • We joined Housing Europe because… we have always wanted to be a part of Europe-wide organization and to contribute to the international exchange of ideas and experience.

In the Czech Republic...

  • Housing is considered to be in the Czech Republic... a basic precondition for fulfilling fundamental human needs.
  • Our key partners in the country: SCMBD is a member of the National Cooperative Association, together with consumer, producer and agricultural co-ops; as such the SCMBD considers the Government and the Parliament as its main partners. We have also several important business partners which are providers of energy and services (including insurance) with whom we cooperate closely for the benefit of our members.
  • Our main housing policy priority at the moment is... as a consequence of the recodification of the private law in 2014 we try to amend it so that it is better applicable for our members.
  • The major challenge for the country today is... the stabilization of the legal environment in the country and better and more efficient use of Structural Funds. 


  • I start my working day checking the mail; and with the routine check of tasks; this is my usual start at the SCMBD as well as at my local housing co-op in Česká Lípa (northern part of the country).
  • After leaving the office I go to my garden and take care of my trees.
  • Currently I am reading... short stories written by the famous Czech writer Jaroslav Hašek before and after the World War I
  • ... while listening to classical music- preferably Ludwig van Beethoven- as well as modern rock music, for instance Pink Floyd.
  • I move around... by bicycle, I also walk a lot; however, I must also use the car especially when going to the office of SCMBD in Prague.
  • I prefer having on my table… Czech beer along with the Czech cuisine or French wine to go along with Mediterranean cuisine. 
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