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Housing and beyond entering the new millennium

History Series #6

Brussels, 15 November 2013 | Social

The shaping decade of the ’90s was coming to its end and CECODHAS was celebrating its first ten years of activity. But it hasn’t been just about the social housing sector.

The initiatives taken were targeting beyond the advocacy for a better organized sector at EU level taking care of as many people as possible. CECODHAS presented in 1997 its milestone report “Social Housing and the Fight against Racism” to the closing conference of the European Year Against Racism in Luxembourg. Following up this intervention, a position paper and policy proposals were submitted to the European Commission’s Urban Forum in Vienna in 1998.

1998 finds CECODHAS gaining access as a recognized actor to the informal meeting of EU housing ministers, launching its website as well as CECODHAS News which was published by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE). Furthermore, the European Federation for Social Housing joins forces with FEANTSA (The European Federation of National Associations for the Homeless, and takes action against homelessness, too.

The 1999 Housing Ministers’ meeting endorses the report on housing for older people produced by CECODHAS to mark the UN year of the Older Person. Following the re- allocation of powers the time had come for the organization to set up a permanent office in Brussels to improve contacts with the European Commission and the Parliament.

CECODHAS began the new millennium by challenging the EU to incorporate the right to housing in the future Charter of Fundamental Rights. “The guarantee of many civic and political rights is meaningless without the guarantee of access to housing” was the way Nico Van Velzen, President of CECODHAS from 1999 to 2003, put it at the 2000 European Housing Ministers Meeting. A publication advocating for “A home for everyone” was also presented at the same meeting, making the mark for a constant demand of the organization.  A demand that is unfortunately timely even to the present day…

To be continued on Friday, November 22… 


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