18 Aug 2023

Spotlight - Meet our Ireland members: John Hannigan

Name: John Hannigan Job Title: CEO Organisation: Circle Voluntary Housing Association Member status: Fellow of the CIH

First things first, please introduce yourself to our audience

I am proud to say that I am now 34 years associated with the social and affordable housing sector in Ireland and the UK. It has taken me to many different places, such as South Africa and Hong Kong and has challenged me in every aspect of my life, professionally, emotionally, physically and psychologically. As a CEO of an approved housing body, it brings many challenges but being able to help people with their housing needs and seeing the impact that a home has on a person’s life is one of the most rewarding elements of what I do these days.

I wasn’t looking for a career in housing, it kind of found me, but one of the things it has taught me is that if you like working with people, this is the sector to be in. No matter what specialism you choose, and there are many, the opportunity to be part of helping people, or perhaps changing their life direction or influencing their choices and seeing the positive outcomes for people is still one of the greatest gifts that I get every day. So, what are you waiting for, join this great sector, make a difference.

What do you love most about your career in housing?

The variety, no two days are the same and the pace of change in housing keeps it very interesting.

What has been your biggest professional achievement?

Unfortunately I have a number of these, and I’m finding it really hard to pick just one! Being appointed CEO of Circle was definitely one. However, being appointed to the governing board of CIH is another, and the honour of being appointed chair of the CIH in Ireland and the chair of the Housing Alliance all rank up there as significant achievements for me.

What are your future goals and aspirations for your career?

With so many people needing homes and the increasing demand for more housing, my aspiration is to continue to grow the delivery of Circle and to push the approved housing body sector to do more for those in need.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a career in housing?

Don’t think twice, once you join this sector it holds you for life and it’s a wonderful place to work. It doesn’t matter what area or profession you might be in, working in social and affordable housing  brings significant rewards and opportunities for everyone that starts to work in it. It should be a career of choice.