Today, 25th January, marks the fortieth anniversary of Co-operative Housing Ireland’s (CHI) foundation in 1973. Since that time, the Association has led the way for co-operative housing in Ireland. CHI:
- has supported the construction of more than 3,500 homes in ownership co-operatives;
- continues to provide management services for more than 1,800 homes through seven affiliated co-operative societies;
- provides Childcare and Community Services, running four such centres and serving up to 200 children each day;
- employs more than fifty people across our range of services.
As Ireland’s national federation representing, promoting and developing the co-operative housing movement, we are committed to using this anniversary year as a platform to launch further growth and development:
- launching an ambitious development programme that will deliver new homes, provide for refurbishment and renewal, and support new jobs.
- exploring ways to improve our services to existing members through, for example, social enterprise development and housing for older people.
Throughout our history, we have been able to show that there is a real alternative in housing in Ireland. Our co-operative nature – democratic member control – is our distinct contribution to housing provision. Co-operative Living is our focus and in this anniversary year, we will deepen the opportunities for our members to get involved in leading their communities through co-operative social enterprise.
There is no doubt that these are challenging times for Ireland but I am excited to be part of an organisation that continues to offer real solutions. We have built our success through working co‑operatively with central and local government, state agencies, the community and voluntary, and private sectors. On behalf of the Board of CHI, I want to thank you and your organisation for your contribution to building better communities. I look forward to continuing to work together in the future.