Skip to main content

News

Posted: Aug 19, 2021 / By: Communications Categories:
Watch back: Multi-Unit Developments Training Webinars

In summer 2021 The Housing Agency hosted a series of six free weekly webinars where experts delivered guidance on the governance and management of apartments and multi-unit developments.

The live lunchtime training sessions were of relevance to stakeholders involved with multi-unit developments (MUDs), and particularly to directors of owners' management companies (OMCs).

Recordings of the webinars are now available to view below and on The Housing Agency's YouTube channel.

The views expressed by the speakers in these videos are not necessarily those of The Housing Agency. All information correct as of broadcast date.

 

Posted: Aug 03, 2021 / By: Communications Categories:
Housing Education Bursary Scheme 2021

The Housing Agency is delighted to launch its Housing Education Bursary Scheme for the 2021/2022 academic year.

Recent years have seen significant developments in the areas of housing delivery and policy. Housing professionals will play a key role in shaping future developments in the sector. The Housing Agency is committed to supporting the education, training, and development of housing practitioners, as well as those interested in developing a career in housing. The Housing Education Bursary Scheme will empower housing professionals to build resilient and sustainable communities in Ireland.

The Bursary Scheme supports students and housing professionals seeking to enrol in housing studies courses offered by the Institute of Public Administration (IPA) and the Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH), starting between September 2021 and January 2022. These include:

Course Closing Date for Applications Course Start Date
IPA NFQ Level 6 (Special Purpose Award) Certificate in Housing Studies  5pm, 27 August 2021
[Now Closed]
September 2021
IPA NFQ Level 8 (Special Purpose Award) Professional Diploma in Housing Studies  5pm, 27 August 2021
[Now Closed]
September 2021
ICSH Level 4 Certificate in Housing  5pm, 11 October 2021 January 2022


How to apply

The bursary awards are intended to support those who would otherwise be unable to secure funding for the full course fees from their organisation or other sources. 

Applicants can apply by downloading and completing the Bursary Application Form, and returning it as a PDF to training@housingagency.ie by the closing date/s outlined above.

Posted: Jul 28, 2021 / By: Communications Categories:
Women & Housing Vulnerability 

This September The Housing Agency will host the final in a series of webinars on housing vulnerability. Women and Housing Vulnerability will provide an opportunity to hear about policy and practice approaches to housing vulnerability from national and international experts. This event will be of interest to policy makers, academics, housing practitioners and all those working in the housing, local government, justice and equality sectors.

This hour-long session will take place from 1-2pm on Thursday, 9 September.

Click here to register

Speakers:

Dr Paula Mayock - Associate Professor at the School of Social Work & Social Studies at Trinity College Dublin. Established Women’s Homelessness in Europe Network (WHEN)

Dr Paula Mayock is an Associate Professor at the School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin. Paula’s research focuses primarily on the lives and experiences of marginalised youth and adult populations, covering areas such as homelessness, drug use and drug problems. She is the founder and co-director of the Women’s Homelessness in Europe Network (WHEN) (http://womenshomelessness.org/), which aims to promote and develop academic scholarship on gender dimensions of homelessness. Paula is co-editor of Women’s Homelessness in Europe (Palgrave Macmillan 2016) and the author of numerous articles, book chapters and research reports..

 

Deidre Cartwright – Development Manager, Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance UK

Deidre Cartwright is a Development Manager for Standing Together working within the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA). Her role focuses on improving the housing sector’s response to domestic abuse through a Whole Housing Approach, with a particular focus on the experiences of victim-survivors living in the private rented sector. Deidre also chairs the Perpetrators and Housing Working Group, which is a sub group of the National Housing and Domestic Abuse Policy and Practice Group, which brings VAWG and housing sector partners together to influence policy and develop best practice in response to domestic abuse. Deidre is also a Domestic Homicide Review Chair and Author with Standing Together, where she leads local multi-agency panels to develop learning and improve practice following the tragedy of a domestic homicide. Deidre brings 10 years’ experience in the domestic abuse sector, both as a front-line practitioner and an advisor to national and local policy makers and practitioners in developing coordinated community responses to domestic abuse.

Please note that this webinar will be recorded for future use.

Alternative registration link: Webinar Registration - Zoom

Posted: Jul 01, 2021 / By: michaelmchale Categories:
Watch back: Unhoused Trauma in Homelessness & Addiction

On Thursday 29 July The Housing Agency hosted the second in a series of webinars on housing vulnerability. Unhoused Trauma in Homelessness and Addiction provided an opportunity to hear about policy and practice approaches to housing vulnerability from national and international experts.

Speakers:

  • Dr Briege Casey, Associate Professor at the School of Nursing, DCU and Programme Coordinator of the Certificate in Homeless Prevention and Intervention
  • Gary Broderick, Director of the SAOL Project

All information correct as of broadcast date. The views expressed in the recording below do not necessarily represent the views of The Housing Agency. First broadcast: 29 July 2021. Click below to watch:

Speaker bios

Dr. Briege Casey - Associate Professor at the School of Nursing, DCU and Programme Coordinator of the Certificate in Homeless Prevention and Intervention

Dr Casey designed (in collaboration with Dublin Region Homeless Executive) the Undergraduate Certificate in Homeless Prevention and Intervention, the only university accredited programme in Europe focusing on the health and social care needs of homeless populations. She is the lead for the Community Health Academic group in the School of Nursing, Psychotherapy and Community Health, DCU and conducts a range of research initiatives in this area for example, most recently: Autism and homelessness and COVID-19 related support for people accessing homeless services. She publishes and presents widely on narrative and arts–based research including several research projects concerning the use of arts and health methodologies for improving health and social outcomes among marginalised groups. She has held several senior positions within DCU including Director of Teaching and Learning and Post Graduate Convenor roles in the School of Nursing, Psychotherapy and Community Health. She was the recipient of the DCU President’s Award for Distinctive Teaching Approaches 2013 and the winner of DCU President’s Award for Engagement 2018.  She is a reviewer for Journal of Advanced Nursing, Qualitative Health Research and Psychology and Health.  

Gary Broderick – Director, Saol Project

Mr Broderick is the Director of the SAOL Project, a service working with women who use/d drugs. Arising from his work with women who use substances, he has developed a keen interest in Trauma Informed Practice (TIP) and has implemented TIP in SAOL and has spoken at several conferences on this topic and the practical issues connected with implementing this essential philosophy. He also lectures at UCD in the Masters in Social Work, DCU’s Diploma in Homelessness Prevention and Intervention and Maynooth University’s Youth and Community Degree as well as their Social Policy degree. During his career he has attained a Diploma in Addiction Studies with Trinity College and  has completed his research masters in Eating Disorders. 

Posted: Jun 30, 2021 / By: michaelmchale Categories:
Multi-Unit Developments Training Webinars

Hosted by The Housing Agency, this series of six free weekly webinars will see experts deliver guidance on the governance and management of apartments and multi-unit developments.

The live lunchtime training sessions will be of relevance to stakeholders involved with multi-unit developments (MUDs), and particularly to directors of owners' management companies (OMCs).

Attendees at all six live training sessions will be issued with a certificate of attendance.* 

Sessions will be held live from 12:30-2pm on six consecutive Wednesdays.

To attend all six live webinars it is necessary to register separately for each individual session using the individual links below. This means that you will receive six separate emails. Each email contains a link to attend one webinar. Registration for one webinar will provide access to that webinar only.

14 July The Multi-Unit Developments Act Register
21 July Service Charges & Debt Collection Register
28 July MUD Financial Management & OMC Accounts Register
4 August Company Law for OMCs Register
11 August Role of the Management Agent and the PSRA Register
18 August Sinking Funds Register


Please note that these sessions will be recorded for future use.

Certificate of Attendance

*To be eligible to receive a Certificate of Attendance, participants must register for all six live events. They must also attend all six live events in full and as they are being first broadcast via Zoom. A Certificate of Attendance will be emailed no later than one month after the final session on Wednesday 18 August 2021, and once it has been verified that individuals concerned have met the above requirements.

Please note that while the events will be recorded and recordings may be made available at a later date, it is only possible to issue Certificates of Attendance to persons who have attended all six live events.

Training is intended to provide practical guidance, and is provided on the understanding that The Housing Agency and the presenters are not engaged in rendering professional services.

The Housing Agency disclaims all liability for any reliance placed on the information provided at training events and in support materials. If advice is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought.

If you have any queries on the training webinars, please contact mud@housingagency.ie.

Download the Multi-Unit Developments Training Webinars Flyer (PDF)

Posted: Jun 25, 2021 / By: michaelmchale Categories:
Tenant Engagement Workshop for housing professionals, 22 July

Tenant engagement is an important part of international best practice in social housing policy. It includes activities ranging from the effective distribution of information among tenants, through to the involvement of tenants in housing management, governance, and ownership.

International research has demonstrated the benefits that accrue from tenant engagement policies, both for tenants and social housing providers. In Ireland, tenant engagement is a growing field. Some housing providers have invested in dedicated tenant engagement teams, but the principles and practices of tenant engagement are of relevance to all those working in social housing delivery and management.

The Housing Agency is collaborating with Supporting Communities, Northern Ireland’s Independent Tenant Organisation, to deliver a half-day workshop for Irish housing professionals working in the field of tenant engagement. The workshop will allow participants to explore best practice in tenant engagement, and consider the future direction of the field in Ireland.

The workshop will take place on Thursday 22 July, from 10.30am to 12.30pm.

Click here to register

The workshop will:

  • Provide examples of best practice
  • Provide a discussion forum on the future of tenant engagement in Ireland
  • Enable housing professionals working in tenant engagement to meet, network with and learn from peers in other organisations.

The workshop will be held online, via Zoom. Participants will receive a link in advance.

How do I sign up?

The workshop is free, but places are limited. Participants should be housing professionals working in roles related to the field of tenant engagement in social housing.

To register, please complete the form available by Friday 16 July.

For further information please contact training@housingagency.ie.

Download the Tenant Engagement Workshop Flyer (PDF).

Posted: Jun 25, 2021 / By: michaelmchale Categories:
Watch back: Key Issues in Tackling Homelessness

On Thursday, 24 June The Housing Agency hosted 'Key Issues in Tackling Homelessness,' the first in a series of webinars on housing vulnerability. The webinar provided an opportunity to hear about policy and practice approaches to housing vulnerability from national and international experts.

Speakers

  • Dr Ligia Teixeira, CEO, Centre for Homelessness Impact UK
  • Bob Jordan, National Director, Housing First Ireland

Both speakers brought a wealth of knowledge and provided an evidence-based analysis of the key issues in addressing homelessness today.

All information correct as of broadcast date. The views expressed in the recording below do not necessarily represent the views of The Housing Agency. Broadcast date: 24 June 2021. Click below to watch:

 

Speaker Bios

Bob Jordan is the National Director for the Housing First programme, which is part of the Government’s Rebuilding Ireland action plan for housing and homelessness. Bob was responsible for developing the National Housing First Implementation Plan 2018 - 2021 which was jointly launched by the Minister for Housing and Minister for Health in September. Bob Jordan was Special Adviser to the former Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government in 2016 -2017, and CEO of the national housing charity Threshold from 2007 – 2016. He is a Bachelor of Science (Computer Science & Software Engineering) graduate of Trinity College Dublin and holds a Masters in International Relations from Dublin City University.

Dr Ligia Teixeira is the founding Chief Executive of the Centre for Homelessness Impact, a member of the What Works Network. She set up the Centre in 2018 and led the feasibility study which preceded its creation while at Crisis UK. Lígia is bringing ‘what works’ methodology to homelessness: the use of reliable evidence and reason to improve outcomes with existing resources. In 2019 Lígia was conferred the Award of Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS) for her contribution to social science. In 2016 she was awarded a Clore Social Fellowship on Housing and Homelessness, funded by the Oak Foundation. Lígia was previously at Crisis UK, where over a period of nine years she led the organisation's evidence and data programme - growing its scale and impact so that it's now one of the largest and most influential in the UK and internationally. She joined the charity in March 2008 following stints at the Young Foundation and the Refugee Council. Lígia was awarded a PhD from the Government Department of the London School of Economics in 2007. She has also worked in research roles for Professor David Held, founder of Polity Press, for sociologist Professor Helmut Anheier, who founded and directed the LSE’s Centre for Civil Society, and for the International Labour Organisation where she covered issues including human trafficking, child labour and women’s rights.

Posted: Jun 22, 2021 / By: michaelmchale Categories:
Launch of AgeFriendlyHomes.ie

The Housing Agency, Age Friendly Ireland and The Departments of Health and Housing, Local Government and Heritage have launched AgeFriendlyHomes.ie, a new website providing resources, guidance and information on housing for our ageing population.

On AgeFriendlyHomes.ie you will find information on new and existing homes, grants and funding, healthcare, design information, technology, public realm, regulations, policy and research.

Watch the video below to get a brief overview of the website’s key features.

The Age Friendly Homes website contains an array of information to support the development of Age Friendly Housing, such as case studies, research, funding information and design templates.

Marking its launch, Chief Executive Officer of The Housing Agency, John O’Connor, said:

“The launch of AgeFriendlyHomes.ie marks a significant milestone in The Housing Agency’s work in housing for our ageing population. We have been delighted to collaborate with all of the different stakeholders in its creation.

“The website provides a central hub for resources, guidance and information on housing. We hope that everyone involved in the provision of homes for older people – from local authorities and approved housing bodies to architects, other construction professionals and the general public – will find the website useful and be encouraged to think more closely about the needs of our citizens as we grow older.”

The website was launched on Tuesday 22 June 2021 by Minister of State for the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, with responsibility for Local Government and Planning Peter Burke TD, and Minister of State for the Department of Health, with responsibility for Mental Health and Older People Mary Butler TD.

A suite of Age Friendly Housing Resources by Age Friendly Ireland was also launched.

Speaking at the launch Minister Burke said:

“Providing a range of housing options that respond to needs across the community is a priority of government and of my Department. The Programme for Government outlines a vision of an Age Friendly Ireland and contains a commitment to Housing for All. Having a safe home is a cornerstone of a decent quality of life. It commits to providing affordable public and social homes and increasing housing stock by over 50,000 over the next five years, the majority of which is to be built by local authorities. The government will ensure that an appropriate mix of housing design types is provided, including universally designed units, and accommodation for older people and people with disabilities.”

Also speaking at the launch Minister Butler commented:

“When we think about later life, most of us would prefer to stay as long as possible in our own homes, surrounded by friends, loved ones, and the familiar setting of our community. Our ambition as a government is to do everything we can to support older people to continue living at home with dignity and independence.

“These resources and website will make a valuable contribution in enabling older people to lead healthy lives at home for longer.They will contribute to a greater awareness of standards for Age-Friendly Housing, and the options people have as they grow older with regard to housing adaptations and other choices. Older people must have choice when it comes to housing, and their voice must be placed at the centre of all Age Friendly Housing developments.”

Posted: May 19, 2021 / By: michaelmchale Categories:
New guide highlights 10 considerations for directors involved in ownership and management of residential estates

A new guide published today by The Housing Agency and Chartered Accountants Ireland identifies ten considerations for directors of the bodies that manage the shared spaces and services of multi-unit developments such as apartments and housing estates.

Read Owners’ Management Companies – A Concise Guide for Directors here.

Increasing numbers of people in Ireland live in apartments and houses that are part of multi-unit developments. Between 2002 and 2016 the number of apartments in Ireland rose by 85%, and in 2019 planning permissions in Ireland for apartments exceeded those for houses for the first time. This high level of growth is expected to continue for some time to come.

Residents of multi-unit developments rely on common areas, or shared amenities and services. Under Irish law, an owners’ management company (OMC) is required to legally own the common areas and be responsible for their upkeep on behalf of its members, who may be owner-occupiers or landlords.

Launched at a webinar today, Owners’ Management Companies – A Concise Guide for Directors identifies good practice in ten key areas which the directors of OMCs should follow:

  1. Directors’ duties
  2. Board effectiveness
  3. Performance versus conformance
  4. The company constitution and register of members
  5. Finances, cash, and debtors
  6. Company accounts and statutory audit
  7. The role of the company secretary
  8. Outsourcing
  9. Annual general meetings
  10. Dispute resolution


John O’ Connor, Chief Executive Officer, The Housing Agency, said:

“Most OMCs are not-for-profit, or mutual trading companies, and most directors of OMCs are volunteers. However, the responsibilities and duties they have are enshrined in company law.

“Directors of OMCs are required to apply good corporate governance and sound financial management. This guide will give new and existing directors advice in complying with legal requirements, as well as achieving the objectives of their OMC. When organised and operated in a sustainable way, OMCs benefit all residents in the community.”

Níall Fitzgerald, Head of Ethics and Governance at Chartered Accountants Ireland, added:

“An OMC director must act in the best interests of the company while having regard to the interests of all their stakeholders. At times it can be complex work; OMC directors are often required to deal with service providers, and professional advisors such as accountants, auditors, and solicitors. They can also interact with residents’ associations and regulators or government bodies.

“Chartered Accountants Ireland is delighted to  collaborate with The Housing Agency in providing guidance to OMC directors in their important role. As well as the ten considerations we outline, the guide also suggests further sources of information and advice. It emphasises the importance of seeking expert advice where complex legal, financial, and construction or property issues arise.”

OMCs do not act for commercial gain, but are custodians of the physical, built environment in which people live. Given the significant proportion of time people spend in their living environment, more so during the Covid-19 pandemic, high standards in shared amenities and services are key to sustainable communities. These are more attainable with good governance and effective management of OMCs.

As well as benefitting new and existing OMC directors, this guide will be of interest to other stakeholders in managed estates, such as housing bodies and local authorities, landlords, homeowners, professionals including auditors, accountants, management agents, and others providing services to OMCs.

Read Owners’ Management Companies – A Concise Guide for Directors here.

Posted: May 10, 2021 / By: michaelmchale Categories:
Launch of New Guide for Owners’ Management Companies

The Housing Agency and Chartered Accountants Ireland will launch Owners’ Management Companies - A Concise Guide for Directors at a webinar at 1pm on Wednesday 19 May 2021.

An increasing number of people in Ireland live in apartment developments and managed estates. Between 2002 and 2016 the number of apartments in Ireland rose by 85%. In 2019 planning permissions in Ireland for apartments exceeded those for houses for the first time.

High standards in owners’ management companies (OMCs) are central to sustainable communities in these estates. OMCs and their directors are responsible for the stewardship of shared facilities, amenities, and services.

This guide helps directors of OMCs to navigate important areas of corporate governance. It will also be of interest to housing bodies and local authorities, landlords, homeowners, auditors, accountants, management agents, and others providing services to OMCs.

The guide:

  • Identifies ten key considerations for directors of OMCs
  • Provides practical guidance and insights on how to comply with requirements and achieve the objectives of an OMC
  • Suggests further sources of information and advice.

Click here to register for this free event.

Upon registration a confirmation email will issue with information about how to join the webinar.

This webinar will be recorded for future use.