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Social Housing Conference to Identify Placemaking and Public Housing at the Heart of our Communities

– ICSH national social housing conference in Wexford on 18th-19th October –

“The approved housing body (AHB) sector alongside our local authority partners are doing more than delivering on our public housing targets. Our housing delivery is coupled with a strong drive to help build the connection between communities and the places in which we live through placemaking”. So says Donal McManus, CEO of the Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH), at their National Social Housing conference, sponsored by AIB, in Wexford on 18th-19th October.

“The multi-annual investment in Housing For All, alongside the Budget 2024 additional capital commitment of €978m from the Land Development Agency (LDA) and €1.5bn from the Housing Finance Agency (HFA), is helping the AHB and wider public and affordable housing sector to forward plan and think laterally to address our huge housing challenges. The focus of our conference this year is on placemaking and the role of social and affordable housing in helping to create vibrant communities, revitalise urban and rural neighbourhoods and add value through innovative design, management and the inclusion of new communities. Housing and planning policies and practice that interlink with strong community-based participation lead to the collaborative co-design that is needed for effective placemaking. One of the key outcomes of good placemaking in recent years, enabled by the work of approved housing bodies, has been the growth of highly connected communities that include public and private housing served by local facilities. It is hoped that the Government Planning Bill will further support good placemaking and high-quality living environments”, Mr McManus added.

Cathy Bryce, Managing Director of AIB Capital Markets said: “At AIB one of our key strategic pillars is sustainable communities. Our ESG (environment, social, governance) initiatives, such as our social and green bonds issuance of more than €5 billion, enable us to lend and invest money into projects with clear environmental and social benefits, such as social housing. AIB is delighted to be the main sponsor of the ICSH annual conference once again and we look forward to the collaborative learning and renewed energy that the ICSH conference brings.

The shared experience and insights of our international colleagues as social landlords shaping affordable housing communities will be captured at the ICSH National Social Housing Conference 2023 – From Vision to Reality: Transforming Communities through Placemaking with Social and Affordable Housing, supported by AIB. We will hear from a range of speakers including Ramon Marrades, Director, Placemaking Europe. Ramon is an urban economist, writer, and activist with a passion for people and places. He works as a strategy advisor to several cities and large-scale development projects. In addition, Frank van Dillen Partner, DVA, Dementia Village Associates, Netherlands will present his insights into delivering housing with supports in the heart of communities. Frank has been involved in designing and consulting on over 70 older person and dementia village projects in and outside The Netherlands.

Darragh O’Brien TD, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage will open the two-day conference, supported by AIB, with a pre-recorded address to the more than 400 delegates attending. Our expert line up of speakers and contributors will include senior representatives from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, the Housing Agency, local authorities and the private sector from across Ireland, the UK and Europe. As always, we hope that conference sessions will provide learning, provoke debate and inspire further action to tackle our housing crisis.

At this year’s conference, we will also be hosting the Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH) Biennial Community Housing Awards 2023, sponsored by Allianz. The event showcases approved housing body and local authority public housing schemes at their very best. This year, we’ve shortlisted 30 projects delivered in rural and urban settings throughout Ireland. From energy optimisation to social integration, these projects are innovative ‘whole of community’ responses to housing need. RTÉ presenter, Anne Cassin, will be presenting the awards on the evening of the 18th October in Clayton Whites Hotel, Wexford.

The full programme for the conference is available here