The Society of Co-operative Studies in Ireland and Co-operative Housing Ireland hosted a one-day seminar bringing together groups from across Ireland who are meeting their own housing needs through direct development. Speakers from Community Land Scotland and the UK federation of housing co-operatives spoke about some of the ways that communities there have succeeded in delivering new affordable housing projects.
A wide range of innovative Irish projects were represented; projects including community land trusts, co-housing groups, and housing co-ops. Groups are delivering projects in urban and rural locations and for a wide mix of needs including housing for older people and integrated housing for people with disabilities.
While many households are turning to community led housing to meet affordability challenges, groups are also exploring innovative ways of living including environmentally sustainable development and more socially integrated communities. As part of the eco-village at Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary, for example, a group are exploring co-housing to provide for affordable, sustainable accommodation.
Kieron Brennan, CEO of Co-operative Housing Ireland, said: “around the world there’s an explosion of interest in new forms of housing supply. With today’s event we’re seeking to bring together the exciting range of groups that we’re aware of in Ireland to develop a network that can push these projects on to the next stage in delivering their aims.”
Bridget Carroll of Cork University Business School and the Society of Co-operative Studies in Ireland said: “the Society has an interest in promoting the co-operative way of doing business and we see collaborative housing as a potential area for significant growth in the current housing environment. We’re encouraged by the range of groups at today’s event that can play a major role in providing housing for the communities of the future.”
Presentations from the day are available at these links:
Calum Macleod, Community Land Scotland
Anne Harpur, Tramore Development Trust
Blase Lambert, CCH (UK)
Donal Traynor, Community Finance Ireland
A feedback form for attendees at the seminar is available here.
A membership form for the Society for Co-operative Studies Ireland is available here.