06 Oct 2023

CIH Northern Ireland welcomes five industry leaders to its board

The Chartered Institute of Housing Northern Ireland is pleased to announce the appointment of five new members to its board. The appointees bring a wealth of experience and expertise to CIH, reinforcing its commitment to excellence and innovation in housing and the related fields.

Carol McTaggart, chair of CIH Northern Ireland, officially welcomed the new members during a recent board meeting on 2 October. Carol said: "We are delighted to welcome Joanna McArdle, Colm McDaid, Michael McDonnell, Caroline McKeever and Laura O’Dowd to our board. Their collective knowledge and proven track record in our industry will be invaluable as we continue to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of housing.

“Each member brings a unique set of skills and perspectives that will further enhance our mission to be a leading voice for the housing profession.”

The appointees bring a wide range of skills from finance, community participation, education, housing and homelessness services, which will significantly contribute to the delivery of CIH Northern Ireland’s operational plan:

Joanna McArdle CIHM

Joanna is a director in Barclays Bank plc. She has led some landmark financing transactions within the NI social housing sector including the first revolving credit facility, the first private placement totalling £105m and more recently the first green term loan.


Colm McDaid CIHCM

Colm is chief executive of Supporting Communities, a NI wide voluntary community development and tenant support organisation. He has been instrumental in driving the organisation forward including its rebranding, the launch of a trading subsidiary, and growth in the Republic of Ireland.

Michael McDonnell FCIH

Michael McDonnell is chief executive of the Choice Group. His background includes various roles in the private sector across the UK and Ireland. He is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland and a voluntary board member of the Community Relations Council.

Caroline McKeever CIHM

Caroline is the NI Curriculum Hub manager for health and social care, and Design Innovation and Assisted Living Centre manager (NWRC). She led the review of housing qualifications, co-designing and developing a new level 3 housing apprenticeship framework, and foundation degree in housing practice.

Laura O’Dowd CIHCM

Laura is director of housing with Ark Housing Association since 2018 and prior to that held the position of support services manager with Supporting Communities since 2014. Laura has over 21 years social housing experience at an operational and strategic level.


CIH is committed to maintaining a strong board that represents various perspectives and experiences in Northern Ireland. The addition of these five exceptional members reinforces the organisation's dedication to ensuring effective governance and leadership. They join existing board members:

Carol McTaggart CIHCM (chair)

Carol is the group chief executive of the Clanmil Housing Group. She is also a non- executive director of 54 North Homes, a registered housing association based in Leeds/Yorkshire and a board member of the NI Federation of Housing Associations.

Caroline Connor CIHM (vice chair)

Caroline is assistant director in the Northern Ireland Housing Executive housing services division with responsibility for managing the delivery of strategy, policy support and business improvement for core housing functions including income collection, welfare benefits, housing policy, community involvement, estate services and customer excellence.

Kelly Andrews CIHM

Kelly is chief executive of Belfast & Lisburn Women’s Aid. She is vice-chair of the Belfast Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse Partnership and a member of the Belfast Safeguarding Panel. Kelly is the Treasurer of Connswater Homes and vice chair of TWN Training for Women Network.

Bridie Doherty CIHM

Bridie is area housing manager at Radius Housing. She believes housing organisations across Northern Ireland are making a progressive societal impact through their commitment to deliver high-quality social housing and support services in communities where individuals and families can thrive and achieve.

Brendan Morrissey CIHCM

Brendan is assistant director of housing & communities with the Clanmil Housing Group. Brendan has worked in housing for 18 years in both customer facing and management roles. He specialises in the care and support of older people to live independently.

Tom Potter CIHCM

Tom has 15 years’ experience with most aspects of social housing having spent most of his career working in Housing Associations in operations and more recently in digital transformation and is now the Assistant Director of Transformation with Inspire Wellbeing. He is passionate about using technology better to empower customers and colleagues. Tom is a founding member of the CIHNI Futures group.

Notes to editors

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. Further information is available at: www.cih.org