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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

Best in housing celebrated at annual awards


People who work in housing and homelessness across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland have been recognised for their contribution to local communities at a prestigious awards ceremony.

Winners of the CIH Housing Awards 2017 were announced on Friday 24 February at Titanic Belfast. The annual awards, now in their eighth year, aim to recognise the people making a difference in housing and communities across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

The awards include sustainable development – awarded to Apex Housing for their complex needs units at Dungiven and Brookeborough; excellence in customer service – picked up by Dublin-based Clúid Housing for their in-house repairs service; and excellence in developing skills and capacity, won by the Housing Executive for their graduate trainee programme in asset management

Close to 300 people attended the ceremony which was sponsored by Choice Housing. The award winners were decided by an independent panel of expert judges, except for best housing story which was chosen by public vote.

The ceremony was opened with a festival dance exhibition by Belfast-based group Tír na nÓg

The CIH professional and young professional of the year awards were respectively awarded to Clare McCarty, chief executive of Clanmil Housing and Ciaran McLaughlin, housing officer at Helm Housing. Ms McCarty and Mr McLaughlin go through to represent Northern Ireland at the national Housing Heroes Awards, which will take place in June at Housing 2017 – CIH’s annual conference and exhibition in Manchester.

East Belfast Mission celebrates winning the promoting integration award for Hosford House, the homeless project based in the Skainos Centre, which has helped to meet the needs of refugees who are Muslim and Arabic speaking

Nicola McCrudden, CIH director for Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, said: “These awards showcase the excellent work being done to support people with housing needs in our communities. The past year has not been without its challenges and it is more important than ever to celebrate the contribution of the housing and homelessness sectors to society.

“As always the standard was incredibly high but the judges were particularly struck this year by some of the great work being done.”

John Leathem of Divis Residents Association was named this year’s housing hero for his voluntary advice services of over 40 years

Michael McDonnell, group chief executive of Choice Housing said: “Choice are delighted to have been the headline sponsor of the CIH Housing Awards 2017 for the second year running. The awards showcase the pioneering work and outstanding achievements of housing associations across Ireland.

“Coming together with our peers to share experiences and learning from one another has set new benchmarks for our sector. We congratulate all the highly commended finalists and award winners.”


For more information please contact Justin Cartwright, CIH policy and public affairs manager on +44 28 9077 8222, +44 7824 304 351 or

Notes to editors:

1.            List of winners:

Working together supported by the Housing Agency
Apex Housing – Foyle food project

More than bricks and mortar supported by Fusion Heating Ltd
Respond! College – Respond!

Excellence in developing skills and electricity supported by SSE Airtricity
Housing Executive – Asset management graduate trainee programme

Excellence in customer service supported by Sunbeam House Services
Clúid Housing – Clúid Works

Promoting integration sponsored by Supporting Communities
East Belfast Mission – Hosford House

Sustainable development supported by Lagan Homes
Apex Housing – Complex needs units at Dungiven and Brookeborough

Housing hero supported by Co-ownership Housing
John Leathem – Divis Residents Association

Raising standards in the private rented sector supported by CIH Housing Awards 2017 gold sponsor the Housing Executive
TDS Northern Ireland – Tenancy deposit scheme

Best housing story supported by Clanmil Housing
Anthony McGrath – Housing Executive

Young professional of the year supported by TDS Northern Ireland
Ciaran McLaughlin – Helm Housing

CIH professional of the year
Clare McCarty CIHCM – Clanmil Housing

2.         The 2017 judging panel:

Dan Corr, chair of the judging panel and chair of CIH Northern Ireland
Vivian Chestnutt
Ciarán Fox, Royal Society of Ulster Architects
Mai Moore
John O’Connor, Housing Agency

3.            The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards. Our goal is simple – to provide housing professionals with the advice, support and knowledge they need to be brilliant. CIH is a registered charity and not-for-profit organisation. This means that the money we make is put back into the organisation and funds the activities we carry out to support the housing sector. We have a diverse membership of people who work in both the public and private sectors, in 20 countries on five continents across the world.

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