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Mayor praises work of HAIP initiative

19 November 2020

The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr Brian Tierney has praised the work of a €1.1m peace building initiative, funded by the EU’s PEACE IV Programme, in helping make communities more harmonious.

He paid special tribute to local Good Relations Officer with the Derry/Londonderry Apex Housing Office, Emer McElhinney for her role in successfully achieving an OCN Level 2 accredited training in good relations and working to bring about positive change in the city and district.

This award-winning social housing project funded by the EU PEACE IV programme and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), has garnered an influx of praise from government officials in both Northern Ireland and Ireland.

The Housing Associations Integration Project (HAIP), a unique cross-border initiative aimed at promoting good relations across housing associations in Northern Ireland and the Border Regions of Ireland, has succeeded in greatly enhancing cross community relationship building in the areas within which it supported.

HAIP was launched in July 2018 and delivered by a partnership involving four of Northern Ireland’s largest housing associations (Radius, Clanmil, Choice and Apex), working with TIDES Training, Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations (NIFHA), and the Irish Council for Social Housing. It aimed to build, improve and sustain positive relationships with local people and their neighbours from different cultures and countries.

Mayor Tierney paid tribute to everyone involved in the scheme and extended his congratulations to everyone involved in making such a positive impact on local communities. He said that through their positive work they have collectively broken down barriers and brought people together.

He extended his congratulations to Emer for achieving her OCN Level 2 Certificate in Building Capacity for Peaceful Change and said he was confident that her efforts and those of her work colleagues will have a lasting impact on the local community.

To celebrate the success of HAIP, project partners have produced a legacy video to illustrate the success of delivery of the project and highlight the impact HAIP has had on participating neighbourhoods across the region. The video showcases some of the activities delivered and shares the thoughts and views from the tenants involved. In addition, the video discusses the impact Covid-19 had on the delivery of activities and the creative steps taken by HAIP partners to continue to provide opportunities for participants in very challenging circumstances. To view, click https://youtu.be/cvI70I5RtLs

Anyone interested in finding out more about the Housing Associations Integration Project can contact Richard Mealey, NIFHA (Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations) Tel: 028 90897 698 or [email protected] or www.haiptogether.org

Match-funding for the project has been provided by the Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department for Rural and Community Development in Ireland.