Starting in 2019, SOCODEVI and the Confédération québécoise des coopératives d’habitation (CQCH) will work together in Senegal to help improve access to decent cooperative housing for families. This is a return to the country for the two organizations, as they have both supported the Thiès regional union for housing and construction cooperatives (URCCHT) in the past.
“Accessing adequate housing or land is a major challenge for most Senegalese families. By providing training, outreach, support and innovative solutions, SOCODEVI will work to remove the obstacles blocking women and youth access to housing.”
MRS. MARIE-ANNICK TAILLON
Program Manager at SOCODEVI
Some of the barriers the population faces include the difficulty of accessing financing and the low representation of women in the decision-making bodies of housing cooperatives. According to Taillon, the work carried out by SOCODEVI and CQCH will be targeted. “Due to the context, we will work on two specific items: supporting grassroots members and strengthening the URCCHT so that it can provide services that meet the concrete needs of its members.”
Meeting Everyone’s Needs: One of the Keys to Success
The URCCHT brings together 72 cooperatives and more than 5,380 member families. Due to the work of these organizations, the majority of member families now have access to plots of land where they can build their homes. It should also be noted that nearly 2,000 women are members of the organization.
Nonetheless, providing support to members in housing projects, developing new land and maintaining the living environment in already developed areas are challenges for the cooperatives and the URCCHT. Furthermore, environmental challenges and climate change also remain key issues to be taken into consideration.
“This new initiative has a specific objective: to implement a unique project, never before seen in the housing sector in Senegal. It consists of multiple-unit housing and lease-option agreements, two approaches that we will study with our partners and that we hope will become a reality in the coming years.”
M. JACQUES CÔTE
President of the Confédération québécoise des coopératives d’habitation (CQCH).
This new form of support by SOCODEVI and CQCH for Senegalese cooperative families is part of the Development Program for Inclusive and Sustainable Model Cooperatives (PROCED). This initiative is supported financially by the Government of Canada and will focus on three countries in the west of Africa: Ivory Coast, Ghana and Senegal.