Saturday September 19, 2020

'We need to change the way we think about housing'

Voluntary housing co-operative founder says sector must build 'sustainable' communities

2nd November, 2016
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Hugh Brennan, Founder & CEO of Ó Cualann Cohousing Alliance CLG
Hugh Brennan

What's your name?

Hugh Brennan

What is your organisation, what does it do and what position do you hold?

Founder & CEO of Ó Cualann Cohousing Alliance CLG. We are a new voluntary housing co-operative, with Approved Housing Body status, set up as a ‘not for profit’ company. We build integrated, cooperative communities of affordable homes. The only ones in the country at the moment.

How long have you held your current role?

Two Years

What are your day to day responsibilities?

Overall responsibility for the management of Ó Cualann Cohousing Alliance CLG, providing integrated, affordable, cooperative housing in Ireland.

What is your professional background and experience?

Civil-structural Diploma in Engineering– Bolton St 1980. I have 30 years experience in Ireland, South Africa and Haiti.

Tell me about yourself away from work?

I’m married to Ruth with four grown up children - two boys and two girls. I live just south of Bray near the Sugar Loaf (Ó Cualann in Irish). I’m a keen hill walker & love to swim in the sea – in summer. I like Irish literature, especially Flann O Brien, rugby, folk music and Bob Dylan (not necessarily in that order). I served as chair of The Bray Community Addiction Team for 12 Years. I sang in church choirs for years. I can’t wait for self driving cars, a few years away max!

You are speaking at the Residential Property Summit conference. What are you speaking about?

Integrated, Affordable, Cooperative Housing – a case study!

What challenges do you see for the sector?

Changing the way we think about housing. Building communities that are 'sustainable’.

Where would you like to see the industry in 10 years time?

Providing communities where people get to know their neighbours before they move in; where they all look out for each other, where their mortgages do not cripple them, where privacy is respected, where the houses are built to best international standards with low energy bills and where they feel safe and secure.

Hugh Brennan, Founder & CEO of Ó Cualann Cohousing Alliance CLG will be speaking at The Sunday Business Post Residential Property Summit on December 6 at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin. See www.propertysummit.ie for further details.

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