NIFHA is delighted to welcome Mark Stewart to the team, as Finance Officer for the Housing Associations Integration Project.
Mark has previously worked at a number of accountancy firms in Scotland, providing accountancy services for a range of clients including larger companies, owner managed businesses and charities.
Last autumn, NIFHA and partners (TIDES Training and Consultancy, Apex, Choice, Clanmil, Radius and the Irish Council for Social Housing) secured c. £925,000 funding under the SEUPB PEACE IV Programme for this unique initiative. The project aims to promote good relations interaction across housing association stock in Northern Ireland and the border regions of ROI.
By August 2020, the programme will have worked with 1,000 people from 40 neighbourhoods on community building programmes, skills workshops, study visits and develop new community-based partnerships.
On taking up his post, Mark commented “This project offers an opportunity to make a real difference in a number of key neighbourhoods where the peace and relationship building activities will take place. It’s an incredibly exciting project to be a part of, and one which will hopefully have a long lasting positive impact in these areas.”
To date, the project has developed a new governance structure, which includes a Project Steering Committee and a Project Board to ensure that strategic and operational input from project partners is at the core of the project moving forward. Project activities will be delivered by four Good Relations Officers, supported by Tides Training and overseen by a Project Coordinator and a Finance Officer.
During these early stages of delivery, the project has also focused on recruitment of staff and the creation of the community audit tool that will be conducted in all 40 of the participating neighbourhoods.The project partners have been finalising the identification of the initial 12 housing developments and the Good Relations Officers that are in post has been busy working in these areas to develop the awareness and profile of the Project in preparation for the roll out of Project activities.
Richard Mealey. Project Coordinator. said “The SEUPB Peace IV funded Housing Association Integration Project will provide fantastic opportunities for tenants in the participating neighbourhoods to engage in a range of community activities which will help to build local community capacity, knowledge and understanding, and improve cross community and cultural relationships.”