Chair of ENHR Conference 2016 and Local Organising Committee
Professor Paddy Gray, School of the Built Environment, University of Ulster
Paddy Gray is Professor of Housing in the School of the Built Environment at Ulster University. He is an established academic and is a leading authority on housing both in the UK and Ireland and internationally. He has wide experience of academic and applied research and has over 200 publications on housing related issues. He has acted as Expert Advisor to government and regularly sits on strategic panels. In 2010 he was appointed the first ever Irish President of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH). He has extensive experience of the voluntary sectors and is Chair of Connswater Homes and is a Board member of a number of local and national charities and groups across the UK and Ireland including Threshold and Tuath Housing in the Republic of Ireland, NALS UK and First Housing and TDS in Northern Ireland. He has been past Chair of three Housing associations and Citizens Advice. He is a member of the co-ordination committee of the European Network for Housing Research.
Recent research has included extensive work on the private rented sector, void property management, the evaluation of floating support services in NI, the evaluation of the Home Improvement Agency, the cost of building social housing in rural areas, an evaluation of Total Cost Indicators for housing associations, the evaluation of accommodation standards for travellers, studies on integrated housing and sustainable communities across Ireland, social housing allocations in NI, Living over the Shops and the governance of Housing Associations.
He contributes to Conferences and Seminars on housing internationally, nationally and locally on a range of housing issues including South Africa, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Russia, China, and Nigeria as well as conferences across mainland Europe, the UK and Ireland. He has recently been appointed as External Examiner for Masters Programme in Housing at the University of Hong Kong and programmes at the University of Glyndwr in Wales and has served as examiner at University of Stirling, Northumbria, Anglia Ruskin and Tromso in Norway. He is also Chief Examiner for the CIH UK and Hong Kong and NI External Examiner for the National Federation of Property Professionals (NFoPP) UK. As External Examiner for CIH he validates worldwide housing programmes including Asia, USA, Canada, Africa and throughout Europe.
He is a regular media commentator on housing issues mainly on radio and TV in Ireland as well as on social media. He also provides policy advice to housing organisations and has presented to a number of Board strategic away days. He has been expert advisor for the NI Assembly Social Development Committee and produced its Inquiry into Social Housing and also served on the Affordable Homes panel set up by the Minister of the DSDNI
He was awarded a Distinguished Community Fellowship at the University of Ulster for outstanding work in the community Recent awards include honorary Fellowship of RICS, Belfast Ambassador of the Year for 2014 and Outstanding Contribution to Work Experience for the UK 2015. He has recently secured the European Network for Housing Research annual conference for Belfast 2016, the first time it has come to NI. In 2016 he was named as one of the 50 top power players in the UK.
Head of Research, Northern Ireland Housing Executive
Joe Frey has been head of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive’s Research Department since 1998. He combines a background in Town and Country Planning with considerable operational and policy experience in the field of Housing and Regeneration. Over the last 13 years he has been responsible for managing a research budget of £1-1.5 million each year which funds a rolling annual programme of more than 20 research projects. His own particular research interests focus on understanding the dynamics of housing markets. Each year he writes a substantial analysis of Northern Ireland’s Housing Market and regularly contributes to the key House Price Index publication in NI. He not only has overall responsibility for managing the House Condition Survey in Northern Ireland, but co-writes the Final Report. He has also co-published a number of more scholarly articles in housing journals, completed a second MSc – in Urban Policy & Practice at University of Glasgow in 2009 and is a part-time lecturer in housing at Ulster University.
Chief Executive of Groundwork Northern Ireland
Paula has been the Chief Executive of Groundwork Northern Ireland since January 2016. Groundwork NI brings a ‘one stop shop’ approach to physical regeneration, focusing on partnership building, community engagement and collaborative design.
Prior to this Paula was Head of SmartMove Housing, Northern Ireland’s first Private Sector Access Scheme providing housing opportunities and tenancy support services to low income and vulnerable households in the private rented sector.
Paula has extensive experience in organisational development, change management and payment by results contracts. She holds a BSc Hons in Housing Management, a Diploma in Professional Practice, a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Administration and a Postgraduate Diploma in Management.
Paula played a lead role in developing the Chartered Institute of Housing’s Level Two award for private landlords in Northern Ireland and is a tutor on the course. She has also taught classes to ethnic minority tenants living in both the private rented sector and social housing.
Paula represents Groundwork Northern Ireland and has represented SmartMove Housing on various committees and government advisory groups. She has written a number of policy papers on the Private Rented Sector and Community Capacity Building. Paula was a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing’s Northern Ireland Board for 3 years and chaired the Learning and Development Committee, having joined the Board as a student representative in 2006.
Paula has worked in a range of senior roles in the private and voluntary sectors, with a particular focus on supporting people and developing communities.
CIHCM: Chartered Institute of Housing Director NI & ROI
Nicola has strategic and operational responsibility for the development and delivery of CIH services across the island of Ireland. She has worked in housing for most of her professional career, having previously held the positions of Policy Manager with Housing Rights and Information Manager with Shelter. Nicola has significant experience of cross-tenure housing law, policy and practice. She has been involved in a number of government working groups and has advised on major policy developments in the areas of homelessness; financial inclusion; social housing reform; repossession; and the private rented sector. Nicola is a keen supporter of tenant participation having been responsible for setting up NI’s first Private Tenants’ Forum.
Director of Housing Services with Fold Housing Association
Eileen is the Director of Housing Services with Fold Housing Association, a position she has held since December 2005. Fold is one of the largest housing associations in N.I. with over 6,500 stock and has been at the forefront of developing and delivering high quality housing and services to meet the needs of all client groups.
Eileen is responsible for the Housing Management and Property Maintenance functions of Fold’s sheltered and general family housing. She has vast experience in all aspects of social housing and during her career has held various positions with the Housing Executive and has also worked on secondment to the DSD Housing Branch for a number of years.
Eileen is a graduate of The University of Ulster, holds an MSc in Housing and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing.