Constitution and Rules of the International Co-op Housing Org. of the ICA (1996)

This document has been made available in electronic format
by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA)
(Source: International Co-operative Housing Organisation)


(Revised by the Plenary in Istanbul, June 1996)

1.	Name

	The International Co-operative Housing Organization ("ICA
	Housing Co-operatives") is hereby constituted as a specialized body
	of the International Co-operative Alliance in accordance with Article
	24 of the Rules of the Alliance.

2.	Purpose of ICA Co-operatives

2.1	The purpose of ICA Housing Co-operatives is to further the
	development of the co-operative housing movement and mutual self
	help housing in all countries of the world, with a view to
	contributing to the resolution of the economic and social aspects of
	the housing problem.

2.2	In fulfillment of this purpose, ICA Housing Co-operatives shall:

2.2.1	collect and analyze information on the activities of national
	movements and the potential for development of co-operative
	housing organizations in different countries;

2.2.2	collaborate with the International Co-operative Alliance and
	appropriate agencies of the United Nations and other multilateral and
	international non-governmental organizations concerned with
	housing problems;

2.2.3	encourage its members to undertake and assist them in implementing
	programmes of technical assistance to co-operative housing
	movements in developing countries;

2.2.4	encourage the exchange of information and personnel among the
	members of ICA Housing Co-operatives in different countries;

2.2.5	support national co-operative housing movements in their efforts to
	form regional bodies with other national movements and to organize
	regional activities;

2.2.6	promote the exchange of expertise and services among co-operative
	housing organizations having various structures in countries in
	various stages of development;

2.2.7	promote education and training in the management of co-operative
	housing organizations;

2.2.8	arrange from time to time opportunities for the exchange of views
	between ICA Housing Co-operatives and other organizations and
	relevant authorities.

2.3	ICA Housing Co-operatives shall report regularly to the
	International Co-operative Alliance on its activities.

3.	Membership

3.1	Membership in ICA Housing Co-operatives shall be open to the
	following types of organizations where admittance otherwise
	complies with the Rules of the ICA governing membership in
	specialized bodies:

3.1.1	National unions or federations of regional co-operative housing
	organizations and/or primary co-operative societies undertaking the
	production, financing or operation of housing;

3.1.2	Regional unions or federations of primary co-operative societies
	undertaking the production, financing or operation of housing in
	countries where either there is no national union or federation or
	such union or federation has approved the regional organisation's
	application for membership in ICA Housing Co-operatives;

3.1.3	Primary co-operative housing societies in countries where there are
	no national or regional unions or federations;

3.1.4	Other types of organizations who are themselves or whose members
	are interested in housing and/or building, provided they have for
	their object the economic and social betterment of their members and
	comply in their operations with the co-operative principles.

3.2	Organizations who are not affiliated to the co-operative movement
	but are working for the promotion of co-operative housing may be
	invited to participate in the work of ICA Housing Co-operatives as
	supporting members.

3.3	Applications for membership shall be made to the Steering
	Committee of ICA Housing Co-operatives. New members may be
	admitted by decision of the Board, on the recommendation of the
	Steering Committee.

3.4	New members enter the rights and duties of membership from the 
	date of the Board meeting at which their membership was granted.

3.5	Each member admitted under paragraph 3.1.1 above is entitled to
	appoint two (2) voting delegates to the Plenary of ICA Housing Co
	operatives. Each member admitted under paragraph 3.1.2, 3.1.3 or
	3.1.4 is entitled to appoint one (1) voting delegate. Organizations
	admitted under paragraph 3.2 are entitled to appoint one (1) non
	voting delegate each.

3.6	Unless the board decides otherwise, all member organizations may
	send additional representatives to take part in plenary meetings, but
	such additional representatives shall not have the right to vote.

3.7	A member may withdraw from ICA Housing Co-operatives at the
	end of any fiscal year by giving to the Secretariat at least four (4)
	months notice in writing of its intention to withdraw.

3.8	Members in arrears in their membership subscriptions for longer
	than one year shall be expelled from membership, unless special
	payment conditions have been granted pursuant to paragraph 6.7 of
	Article 6, below.

3.9	Primary co-operative housing societies and regional unions or
	federations of such societies may become associated members of
	ICA Housing Co-operatives though membership in a regional body
	described in paragraph 2.2.5, unless they are represented in ICA
	Housing Co-operatives by a national organization.

3.10	Organizations admitted to associated membership under paragraph
	3.9 shall be entitled to take part in the activities of the regional body
	of ICA Housing Co-operatives, as provided in the rules of the
	regional body. Each associate member is entitled to appoint one non
	voting delegate to the Plenary of ICA Housing Co-operatives.

4.	Constituent Bodies of ICA Housing Co-operatives

4.1	The permanent constituent bodies of ICA Housing Co-operatives
	shall comprise the Plenary, the Board, the Steering Committee and
	the Electoral Committee.

4.2	The Plenary shall consist of all voting and non-voting members of
	ICA Housing Co-operatives.

4.3	The Board shall consists of a President, a Vice President, and
	thirteen (13) other members. Members of the Board shall be elected
	at duly constituted meetings of the Plenary from among the voting
	delegates appointed by the member organizations. At the first
	meeting of the Plenary following the adoption of this Constitution
	(1992), the President and six (6) other members of the Board shall
	be elected to serve for two (2) years, and the Vice President  and
	seven (7) other members of the Board shall be elected to serve for
	four (4) years. Every twenty years thereafter, members shall be
	elected to the Board to fill the positions of whose term of office is
	expiring, and their term of office shall be four (4) years.

4.4	From time to time, the Board shall appoint a Secretary/Treasurer and
	shall decide upon the location of the Secretariat of ICA Housing Co-

4.5	From time to time, the Board shall elect three (3) member delegates
	from within or outside the Board to serve as an Electoral Committee.

4.6	The Electoral Committee is responsible for ensuring that the election
	of members of the Board is conducted in accordance with the
	Constitution and Rules of ICA Housing Co-operatives and for
	recruiting and providing the Plenary with a list of nominated
	candidates. In recruiting candidates for the election, the Electoral
	Committee shall attempt to ensure optimal representation on the
	Board of the different geographic regions, movement structures and
	stages of development represented among the members of the ICA
	Housing Co-operatives, as well as the need to have an efficiently
	functioning Board.

4.7	Every two (2) years the Board shall elect from among its members
	two (2) people to act as a Steering Committee together with the
	President, the Vice President and the Secretary.

4.8	At each meeting of the Plenary, the voting delegates in attendance
	shall elect one (1) member organization to appoint a competent
	Auditor of the accounts of ICA Housing Co-operatives.

4.9	The President or the Vice President together with one other member
	of the board shall have the authority to sign on behalf of the ICA
	Housing Co-operatives.

4.10	If a member of the Board or the Steering Committee resigns during
	his or her term of office, the resulting vacancy shall be filled by
	election at the next meeting of the Plenary, in the case of the Board,
	or at the next Board meeting, in the case of the Steering Committee.
	If notice in writing is given by a member organization that a member
	of the Board or Steering Committee is no longer its delegates to the
	ICA Housing Co-operatives, he or she shall be deemed to have

4.11	Until a successor has been elected in accordance with paragraph
	4.10 above, or if a member of the Board or Steering Committee has
	not resigned but is unable to attend a meeting, the member
	organization the missing delegate represents may appoint a
	substitute. If so authorized in writing by the member organization
	appointing him or her, the substitute shall have the right to vote.

5.	Meetings

5.1	As a rule, Plenary meeting shall be convened in conjunction with
	meetings of the General Assembly of the ICA.

5.2	Meetings of the Board and the Steering Committee shall be
	convened as circumstances dictate. Whenever appropriate, board
	meetings and other meetings of ICA Housing Co-operatives, such
	as seminars, workshops and conferences, shall be held in
	conjunction with meetings of the Regional Assemblies of the ICA.

5.3	Notice of each meeting of the Plenary shall be sent by mail to every
	member organizations at least four (4) months before the date of the
	meeting and the agenda at least one (1) month before the date of the

5.4	Minutes of all meetings of the Plenary and Board shall be recorded
	and the minutes shall be confirmed at the next meeting of the same

5.5	All decisions taken at meetings of the constituent bodies of ICA
	Housing Co-operatives, except a decision to amend this Constitution
	and Rules or to dissolve the organization, shall be made by a simple
	majority of votes cast. The chairperson presiding at the meeting shall
	have a casting vote.

5.6	Unless otherwise decided by the body concerned, delegates may not
	vote at meetings of the constituent bodies of ICA Housing Co-
	operatives until the organization they represent has met all o its
	membership obligations.

5.7	The International Co-operative Alliance shall be entitled to send a
	representative to all meetings of the Plenary and the Board of ICA
	Housing Co-operatives.

5.8	The President, or if he or she is unable to attend, the Vice President,
	shall represent ICA Housing Co-operatives as a delegate to meetings
	of the ICA General Assembly.

6.	Finance

6.1	ICA Housing Co-operatives shall raise sufficient income to provide
	for the operation of its Secretariat and to cover any other
	expenditures set out in the budget of the organization.

6.2	The income of the organization shall be derived from a Basic Annual
	Subscription payable by each member organization in the amount of
	plus additional subscriptions as provided for in paragraphs 6.3 and
	6.4 below.

6.3	Organizations admitted into membership under paragraphs 3.1.1 or
	3.1.2 of Article 3 above, who have themselves or whose members
	have very extensive operations shall pay an additional subscription
	of one (1), two (2) or three (3) times the Basic Annual Subscription,
	according to the scale of their operations and their financial strength.
	The additional subscription in each case shall be determined by the
	Steering Committee after consultation with the member.

6.4	Voting members who are neither affiliated directly to the ICA nor
	belong to an organization that is directly affiliated to the ICA shal
	pay an additional levy of one half (1/2) of the Basic Annual

6.5	Supporting members shall pay an annual subscription of one half
	(1/2) of the Basic Annual Subscription.

6.6	Organizations admitted to associated membership under paragraph
	3.9 shall pay an Annual Subscription to the regional body with
	which they are affiliated in the amount of TWO HUNDRED AND
	FIFTY SWISS FRANCS (CHF 250). Half of each such
	subscription paid shall be transferred by the regional body to ICA
	Housing Co-operatives.

6.7	Where the member's financial situation warrants, particularly in the
	case of members from developing countries, the steering Committee
	may approval special conditions with respect to the full payment of
	annual subscription.

6.8	Organizations admitted to membership in ICA Housing Co-
	operatives in the course of the fiscal year shall pay one half (1/2) of
	the annual subscription calculated in accordance with paragraphs 6.1
	through 6.5 above for the membership period preceding their first
	full year membership.

6.9	Subscriptions shall be invoiced on the first of January every year.
	Payment is due in full by the end of March of that year.

6.10	The fiscal year of ICA Housing Co-operatives is the calendar year.
	Each year, the Board shall approve an audited financial statement for
	ICA Housing Co-operatives for the previous year and a budget for
	the following year.

7.	Amendments

7.1	The Constitution and Rules of ICA Housing Co-operatives may be
	amended by a motion supported by two-thirds (2/3) of votes cast at
	a duly constituted Plenary meeting.

7.2	A motion to amend the Constitution and Rules must be submitted to
	the President six months prior to the Plenary meeting at which it is
	to be considered.

7.3	Any such motions, together with the recommendation of the Board
	thereon, shall be sent to all member organizations in advance of the
	Plenary meeting.

8.	Dissolution

8.1	ICA Housing Co-operatives may be dissolved by decision of the
	Plenary, on the recommendation of the Board. Any such
	recommendation shall be sent to all member organizations in
	advance of the Plenary meeting at which it is to be considered. The
	decision shall require a majority of at least two-thirds (2/3) of votes

8.2	Any meeting approving the dissolution of ICA Housing Co-
	operatives shall also determine how the debts of the organization
	will be paid. In the event of any surplus remaining after dissolutio
	and retirement of all debts, the surplus shall, together with the
	organisation's files, be placed at the disposal of the ICA.