Images: Kevin Cooper
The biggest housing conference to come to Northern Ireland began in Belfast today. (Wednesday). Hundreds of housing researchers from all over Europe gathered for ENHR2016.
The international housing experts are from the European Network for Housing Research and they were welcomed by conference chair Professor Paddy Gray from Ulster University. The Housing Executive is the main sponsor of the event.
Among the subjects the researchers are discussing at the conference – which is taking place in Northern Ireland for the first time – is housing in a divided society.
Professor Gray said: ‘I am delighted that ENHR has agreed to have its annual conference in Northern Ireland for the first time. The conference takes place in Belfast with visits to Derry and Armagh. Conference delegates are keen to see the excellent work that the Housing Executive and Housing Associations have done over the past 45 years, particularly in times of great difficulty, to transform housing conditions across the Province. They are also keen to witness at first hand the quality of management and how these organisations are working with communities to improve the quality of life and provide the necessary support for the most vulnerable. At a time when our social housing is still highly segregated they will witness the great work that goes on within and between communities.”
He added: “Delegates had the opportunity for field trips around Belfast, Armagh and Londonderry/Derry yesterday and these visits were an opportunity to see cities in transition and regenerated post conflict.”
Speakers at the opening of ENHR2016 today (Wednesday) included European Network for Housing Research President Prof. Dr. Peter Boelhower, the Housing Executive’s Director of Regional Services Siobhan McCauley, and Dr Jennie Donald, Deputy Chief Executive Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations.