In Slovenia there is a 92% share of privately owned apartments, small share of non-profit rental ones and almost non-existing rental market. Therefore, the housing affordability is low, especially for the young, elderly and people with low and even middle range incomes.
Zadrugator* is a housing cooperative established for providing affordable and quality living conditions in Ljubljana. Members of the cooperative have partnered to build an alternative living beyond traps of ownership and renting for profit. They believe that a cooperative is a form of democratic and communal management of housing that builds on pooling of labour and resources which should in the future become a key model of housing provision.
Second, but equally important Zadrugator’s goal is to provide affordable and decent housing for all. For growing number of people, the right to live in quality housing is violated because of prevailing profit logic and state’s withdrawal from housing provision. Through spreading knowledge and public campaigns they fight for better conditions in housing. They believe that to achieve quality housing it is essential to use the bottom up approach and to unite into cooperatives as a basic model for better living condition.
In late October 2016 Zadrugator, together with the Faculty of Architecture, University of Ljubljana, organized a conference to achieve changes of housing politics: legislation, finance and finally develop a suitable and viable cooperative housing model for Slovenia. They focused on architecture, housing cooperative/co-housing models and networks. Models from other countries and experiences of different initiatives were presented by visiting lecturers from abroad, experts on this topic, which should serve as a starting point for development of Slovenia’s own model and further actions.
In ZDUS we believe that a housing cooperative can be a very interesting and viable option to provide suitable and affordable housing option for older people. One of its services could be also providing care for its habitants, thus making the most of cooperative’s principles by meeting older people’s needs.
*”zadruga” in Slovenian expression for cooperative