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Press Release: ‘Rebuilding Ireland – Delivering a Sustainable Housing Recovery’

Published: Friday, February 10, 2017

Rebuilding Ireland – Delivering a Sustainable Housing Recovery’ – the RIAI and the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government Joint National Housing Conference

Dublin, 13 February 2017 - The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) in partnership with the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (DHPCLG) held the Joint National Housing Conference. Taking place in Dublin Castle, the biennial conference - which was first held in 1969 - brings together a wide range of policymakers, practitioners, architects, planners and other stakeholders to explore key housing issues of the day.

Running over 2 days, the theme of this year’s event was ‘Rebuilding Ireland – Delivering a Sustainable Housing Recovery’. With a strong focus on urban regeneration, the conference addressed topics such as ‘Revitalising Small Towns – Learning from Europe’, ‘Inner City Revitalisation’ and ‘Delivering Quality Through Design’.

Speaking about the range of policy responses put in place, under the Rebuilding Ireland programme, to support the accelerated delivery of quality housing, Minister Simon Coveney reiterated the need to deliver on these plans, in a way that leaves a positive legacy when we look back in 20 years’ time.

“The challenge is for us all”, he said, “local authorities, approved housing bodies, architects, constructional professionals, planners, builders and developers - to proactively respond to the housing supply challenge and deliver on the 84 integrated actions set out in Rebuilding Ireland in order to meet the needs of our citizens now and into the future.”

“The RIAI welcomes the Department of Housing’s Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan – it is ambitious with plans to deliver 25,000 new homes every year” said Kathryn Meghen, RIAI CEO. “However we need to ensure that good design is at the heart of this delivery. It is our goal that every local authority in Ireland should have a well-resourced architects’ department to support the development of communities from the ground up.”

“Housing can’t be looked at in isolation, it’s about sustainable development and delivering a quality built environment,” said Carole Pollard, RIAI President. “The strength of Irish architecture is internationally recognised and celebrated and the skills of Irish architects are being sought around the world. We want to see that everyone in Ireland can benefit also from the skills and experience of Irish architects.” The President called for the Government to develop a policy that will ensure the sustained development of our national infrastructure and avoid the boom and bust cycles of the building sector.

Traditionally, the conference has been the occasion for the presentation of the RIAI Silver Medal for Housing – the country’s premier award for residential architecture. However the impact of the economic conditions of the recession, coinciding with the award period of 2011-2013, was evident and the RIAI presented only Highly Commended and Commended Certificates to projects. 

“The fall in housing completions over the early part of this decade was unprecedented”, said RIAI President Carole Pollard. “This has had an impact on the submissions for our award and regrettably we are not in a position to award the Silver Medal in 2017. However we are confident with the renewed focus on delivery of residential schemes that we will return to pre-recession levels of qualifying projects next year. We commend the architects honoured today who have worked hard to deliver housing during difficult economic times.”

Running alongside the conference was an exhibition of residential housing schemes, both in planning and completed, designed by RIAI members. This exhibition demonstrated the range of potential projects coming on-stream in the near-term across Ireland.

The presentation of Certificates for the RIAI Silver Medal of Housing was sponsored by Smart Storage.

For media enquiries or to arrange interviews, please contact: Anna Kavanagh, Drury|Porter Novelli (RIAI) 087 692 9458 / anna.kavanagh@drurypn.ie or Dr Sandra O’Connell, RIAI Communications Manager, T 01 6761703, soconnell@riai.ie.


About the RIAI
Founded in 1839, the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland supports and regulates the architectural profession and promotes the value that architecture brings to society for everyone’s benefit.  We also provide support services to Architects and Architectural Technologists.

The RIAI engages with government, the professions, industry, clients and the public to promote quality in architecture; to deliver quality and sustainability in the built environment; to enrich our distinctive culture and heritage; to contribute to the competitiveness of our economy; and to improve quality of life for the people of Ireland, today and for generations to come.

About Rebuilding Ireland
Rebuilding Ireland: Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness, which was published 19 July 2016, is a whole-of-Government programme and response to the housing supply challenges we currently face.

Both comprehensive and backed by funding of €5.55 billion, Rebuilding Ireland is designed to significantly increase the supply of social housing by 47,000, double the output of overall housing to at least 25,000 homes per annum by 2021, service all tenure types (social, private and rental), and tackle homelessness comprehensively. The wide-ranging plan seeks to address all aspects of the housing system under Five Pillars:

  • Address Homelessness
  • Accelerate Social Housing
  • Build More Homes
  • Improve the Rental Sector
  • Utilise Existing Housing

The most recent Quarterly Progress Report (for Q4 2016) was published 7 February and can be accessed here.

Rebuilding Ireland is available on www.rebuildingireland.ie

Follow us on Twitter for regular updates: @RebuildingIrl  #RebuildingIreland
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Categories: Architecture | Event & Conferences | Housing | Press Releases | RIAI Press Release

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