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Housing Europe Statement to mark the International Day of Cooperatives

The contribution of coops to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Brussels, 2 July 2016 | Published in Social

2nd July is the International Day of Co-operatives. The celebration this year will be dedicated to the contribution cooperatives provide to the achievement of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The European and Global facts

  • There are more people without a home today in Europe than six years ago... There are not enough affordable homes available in most European countries to meet the increasing demand;
  • In total 828 million people live in slums today and the number keeps rising as well as that the world’s cities account for 60-80 % of energy consumption and 75 % of carbon emissions;
  • there is an ever growing demand for a liveable and caring city and at the same time, cities are increasingly pushed to cater for those already privileged with the goal of becoming global cities;

The Global Community has recognised the urgent need to re-visit our housing policies and has adopted adopted Sustainable Development Goals Agenda 2030 and specifically SDG number 11 ‘Sustainable Cities and Communities - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’ which highlights among its targets to ‘ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums’; and number 7 ‘Affordable and Clean Energy - Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and clean energy for all’.
Housing has an essential role to play in meeting the targets set in these goals and make cities places where everyone can reach their full potential. We can achieve these goals by:

  • Building more public, social and cooperative housing;
  • Improving the regulatory framework impacting these non-for-profit housing providers ;
  • Making cities more inclusive and liveable by promoting holistic thinking.

Speaking on the occasion of the International Day of Cooperatives, Marc Calon, President of Housing Europe notes that:

“ a diverse housing sector is crucial to meeting those goals and cooperatives are a vital tenure needed to deal with the changing housing needs from grass roots level. Housing Europe strives to create a forum where housing co-operatives can work side-by -side with public and social housing providers on finding solutions to our shared housing challenges addressing Construction & Energy, Finance and the Economy and Social Affairs. Remaining open and interconnected locally, at European level and globally is now more vital than ever. For this reason Housing Europe is joining forces with Cooperative Housing International and the United National Economic Committee for Europe Housing and Land Management Committee for our annual congress and General Assembly taking place on September 15th a month before the Habitat III which will sets the global urban policy context for the next 20 years.”