PROGRAMME FOR THE PROMOTION OF SOCIAL HOUSING THROUGH HOUSING COOPERATIVE SOCIETIES
Cognizant of the acuteness of the problem of social housing especially in the major urban centres in African countries, the governments have set up several structures to solve the problem. In spite of this manifest will, for instance, Cameroon has only constructed 12,000 housing units through the global chain of all construction institutions in the course of the last five decades. The housing allocation mechanism applied by the various private or State actors currently offers no pro-poor conditions. In addition, this segment of the population does not seem to attract enough attention from the State for a comprehensive resolution of the issue of housing. However, despite all the actions carried out by public authorities and NGOs, it is clear that the gap between the demand for social housing and supply is widening and the prospects of resolving the problems of social housing are dwindling in the context of economic and financial crisis leading among other effects to the increase in the prices of building materials. It is in this context that the Pan-African Cooperative Conference has decided to initiate the promotion of housing cooperative societies as a credible alternative for the lasting resolution of the problems of social housing taking into consideration the scale of the problem of social housing in the major cities of Africa. Currently, several companies are investing in the realization of multi-family housing. These companies, most of which operate with a profit-making motive only aim at the profitability of their investments, to the detriment of poor people including workers whose precarious economic and financial situation is increasingly deteriorating due to the international economic and financial crisis. Experiences in Senegal have shown that under the same conditions of production of housing, cooperative societies can sometimes be twice cheaper than real estate companies. Through this programme, the PCC undertakes to define new strategies of tackling the issue of social housing in its member countries, particularly in the major cities. This social housing promotion programme is an initiative for the promotion of housing cooperatives. On the side of the beneficiaries of interventions, the implementation of the programme rests on two cardinal principles, namely: volunteering to be a member of a cooperative society and assuming one's responsibilities as an actor involved in the construction of one's own housing. The objectives of this programme include the following:
Overall objective: To contribute to the coverage of current national forecasts in the area of social housing through the promotion of housing cooperative enterprises in the major cities.
Specific objectives: This programme aims at two specific objectives:
1.To improve the level of commitment and mastery of the problem of collective housing in the main cities of member countries by low income workers.
2.To accompany and support workers of the public and private sector who desire to have social housing.