Advancing Community-Led Housing in Ireland - Open House Dublin 2024
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Advancing Community-Led Housing in Ireland

Self Organised Architecture (SOA) is a social enterprise working to advance a new paradigm in Irish housing – Community-Led Housing (CLH). We believe that communities of all sizes should have the right and ability to be instigators and co-creators of secure, affordable homes. We believe this approach can benefit individuals, communities and even entire cities, and we want people in Ireland to realise this potential.

SOA envisages an Ireland where:

  • As a nation, we have a shared understanding of what an environmentally and socially sustainable neighbourhood will look like. 
  • People have the agency and choice to proactively influence how their homes and neighbourhoods are designed and delivered. The creativity and resources of those being housed are acknowledged and harnessed to contribute to this challenge. 
  • Homes and neighbourhoods are designed to enhance social integration, foster community engagement and reduce isolation. Social sustainability is more carefully considered, with new models of housing created to facilitate this. Homes are designed to be adaptable for the future, to accommodate our evolving needs as we age, and to facilitate “ageing in place”. 
  • Property speculation is reigned in to balance with the need to create affordable, secure homes for our citizens. A country where long-term affordability is seen as a desirable outcome rather than a threat.
  • Our homes and lifestyles do not exacerbate climate change but actively contribute to reducing and reversing it. We envisage a country where resources are shared and where the refurbishment of vacant and derelict stock is prioritised over new buildings. 

SOA is developing CLH in Ireland as a “third approach” to housing creation, which can help us collectively reach this vision. CLH has proven successful across mainland Europe, the UK, and internationally as a model which enhances agency and challenges the isolation many of us can feel in an increasingly individualised world. 

Our team has been researching and adapting this approach to the Irish context for the last five years. Learning from the experience of those who have gone before us, and supporting new CLH projects to realise their goals – projects such as Nimble Spaces (Callan), Common Ground CLH (Wicklow), Aisteach Cooperative (Dublin), and Cloughjordan CoHousing (Tipperary). We have also been working with Ireland’s first urban Community Land Trust, Cork CLT, launched last month in Cork City.

In 2021, SOA’s landmark open-source publication roadmapped a CLH infrastructure for Ireland and was endorsed by figures such as the President of Ireland and the Secretary General of Housing Europe. Community-Led Housing was subsequently introduced into Irish legislation for the first time via the Affordable Housing Act 2021.

Find out more at


Social Media Handles

Instagram: soa_irl

Twitter: SOA_ie

SOA Exhibition. Credit: Caroline D’Arcy


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