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Announcement Awards

Housing Unlocked wins national award


The IAF and Housing Agency partnership has been awarded Best Use of Creativity in the Community at the Business to Arts Awards 2023.

The Irish Architecture Foundation and The Housing Agency have been announced as category winners in the annual Business to Arts Awards 2023 for the joint initiative, Housing Unlocked.

The first phase of Housing Unlocked was an open call that called for architects, together with people from a variety of disciplines and members of the public with a common interest in housing, to team up and submit ideas that will maximise housing potential in our towns and cities. The open call led to a public exhibition and programme of tours, talks, and workshops, where visitors were encouraged to engage with the ideas on exhibit and to participate in lively debates and conversations on the future of housing in Ireland.

Housing Unlocked received the award in the Best Use of Creativity in the Community category, supported by Irish Life. This category recognises initiatives and programmes that work with community groups to address specific issues, encourage community participation, bring new perspectives to creativity, and joy to those who engage with them.

Commenting on the announcement, Bob Jordan, CEO of The Housing Agency, said: “The Housing Agency welcomes the announcement of the Business to Arts awards. I’m delighted that our work with the Irish Architecture Foundation on Housing Unlocked has been recognised in this way Housing Unlocked looked for innovative and practical solutions that addressed the challenges we face when it comes to delivering homes. The initiative has been a huge success featuring an exhibition in the TCD Science Gallery from October 2022 to February 2023 which showcased inspiring solutions by architect-led teams from a range of backgrounds.

“The Business to Arts awards are testament to the importance of ongoing partnership between sectors to solve Ireland’s bigger issues and make a real social impact in our communities. I look forward to seeing how the Housing Unlocked projects progress in the future and to the impact they make in the housing sector.”

Also speaking was Emmett Scanlon, Director of the Irish Architecture Foundation, who said: “The Irish Architecture Foundation are delighted that Housing Unlocked has been recognised by Business to Arts. The first exhibition of its kind in Ireland, Housing Unlocked demonstrates the powerful impact supporting the imagination of architects and others can have on innovative solutions to our housing needs and in creating vibrant, inclusive and sustainable villages, towns and cities. We in the IAF are committed to the subject of housing and to supporting architects and audiences to grow the desire for better ways of living together in Ireland.  We were truly delighted to work with The Housing Agency on this project.”

The awards were announced at a ceremony on Tuesday 12 September at the National Concert Hall and featured a range of categories that recognise arts sponsorship, commissioning, philanthropy, staff engagement programmes, corporate social responsibility, access programmes, creative community initiatives, and more.


Photo: Business to Arts Awards 2023 winners of Best Use of Creativity in the Community, supported by Irish Life. (L-R): Oisin O’Shaughnessy, Irish Life; Bob Jordan, CEO of The Housing Agency; Davina Saint, Chair of Business to Arts; Emmett Scanlon, Director of Irish Architecture Foundation; Louise O’Reilly, Chief Executive of Business to Arts. Photo by Conor McCabe.