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En route to the first CECODHAS Congress

History Series #3

Brussels, 18 October 2013 | Social

The evolution of the sector, the first CECODHAS congress and the thoughts about Brussels…

Somebody may read in the CECODHAS report for the period between 1988 and 1993 how the social housing sector has evolved within these five years: “[…] In the UK, for example, housing bore the biggest share of deep public spending cuts imposed by the Thatcher government, which had also begun the large-scale sale of social housing to tenants in 1980- a policy that would be adopted by other European countries. Elsewhere, the German and Irish governments considered that “national housing needs had, by and large, been met and that the efforts of providing social housing was no longer justified”[…].

“We are again experiencing a grave housing crisis throughout the continent”, had written Roger Quilliot, a founding member and third CECODHAS President (1991-1993) in his foreword to the above mentioned report. Within this challenging reality the First Congress of CECODHAS took place on June 12, 1992 in Strasbourg. Alongside with the issues related to the sector that were set on the agenda, another point was raised for the first just a few months before the Maastricht Treaty would give official birth to the European Union. A long debate had just started…

A draft note sent to members on June 17, 1992 was suggesting the setting-up of a permanent CECODHAS secretariat in Brussels. Ben Kempen, vice-president of CECODHAS had first made this proposal on the occasion of the Executive Committee meeting a few days before the issue of this note. In his address to the ExComm Mr. Kempen listed continuity of work, coordination of contacts and closer contact with EC officials among the advantages of a permanent secretariat in Brussels. The first step towards a common European future of CECODHAS had just been made.

To be continued on Friday, October 25…


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