Skip to main content

Search Housing Rights

Press release: Housing Rights celebrates 20 successful years of its CHAP project

31 October 2023
Richard Tanswell (NIHE) Margaret Kelly (NI Public Services Ombudsman), Kate McCauley (Housing Rights), Grainia Long (NIHE Chief Executive), Faith Westwood (Housing Rights), Peter O'Callaghan (First Housing Aid and Support Services pictured at the event

Housing Rights, the leading housing advice charity in Northern Ireland, proudly marks the 20th anniversary of its successful Community Housing Advice Partnership. In a celebratory event held in the Junction, Dungannon, Northern Ireland, the project celebrated two decades of collaborative and impactful service with many of the partner organisations involved in the project in attendance. The event also explored the need to introduce Housing Advice Quality Standards for Northern Ireland.

Distinguished speakers at the event, including Grainia Long, Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE), and Margaret Kelly, Public Services Ombudsman for Northern Ireland, highlighted the commitment to working in partnership and ensuring the continued provision of quality housing advice for individuals and communities.

The CHAP Project, set up in 2003, supports advice agencies in local communities to offer housing advice, through training, peer review and case work and provides a gateway for people with housing problems to access specialist services.

Grainia Long, Chief Executive of NIHE, expressed enthusiasm for the CHAP project, stating,

I’m delighted that the Housing Executive has been able to support the funding of the Community Housing Advice Partnership as it fosters the collaboration and partnership working which is at the heart of our Homelessness Strategy.

Housing Advice Quality Standards aim to protect and promote the standards of housing advice services, ensuring that individuals receive consistently accurate, timely, and effective guidance.

Margaret Kelly, Public Services Ombudsman for Northern Ireland, commended the organization's commitment to excellence in the provision of housing advice, saying,

The pursuit of fairness and justice in public services is vitally important. The introduction of Housing Advice Quality Standards has the potential to set a consistent, quality benchmark for housing advice delivery in Northern Ireland.

Housing Rights CEO Kate McCauley expressed gratitude for the support of agencies involved in the CHAP project over the past two decades, stating,

The success of the Community Housing Advice Partnership shows the power of collaborative working to deliver comprehensive housing advice to vulnerable people in communities throughout NI. d We are thrilled to celebrate 20 years of supporting frontline practitioners to deliver quality advice. It is fitting that as we celebrate 20 years of this innovative project we are also moving the conversation about how to futureproof the quality of advice, through the introduction of Housing Advice Quality Standards, forward. The introduction of these standards will copperfasten support to frontline advisers and safeguard access to quality housing advice for many more years to come.

The 20th anniversary CHAP celebration and the exploration of developing Housing Advice Quality Standards for Northern Ireland mark a significant milestone in Housing Rights' journey, reinforcing its position as the ‘go to’ independent specialist agency in advocating for housing rights and ensuring the provision of quality housing advice services.

Contact Housing Rights for further information.