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An Interview with Sheenagh McNally about the Upcoming All-Ireland Tenant Engagement Conference

As we prepare for our first big All-Ireland Tenant Engagement Conference this June, we asked our Head of Corporate Services, Sheenagh McNally, to give us some background and context for the event she says she has wanted to do for a long time!

Read what Sheenagh had to say about what is happening!

Why is now the right time for a conference like this?

“I’ve dedicated my career to improving tenant participation in social housing, and an event like this has been in the back of my mind for years,” explained Sheenagh.

“After Supporting Communities was appointed the Independent Tenant Organisation for Northern Ireland, and we subsequently created our trading subsidiary, Empowering Communities, the idea really started to take shape for me. Covid forced us to put it on the back burner for a while, but now the time is right, and it is all coming together!”

What is the conference about?

“We tend to look across the water for good practice, but there is so much here! In many ways, we have been leading the way in tenant participation for a long time,” explained Sheenagh. “This conference is about showcasing the best we have to offer here at home and demonstrating our commitment to tenants to ensuring their voices are heard and showing them that they can make an impact.”

Why is it an “All-Ireland” event?

“Supporting Communities is widely recognised as the participation expert in Northern Ireland, and we have now successfully expanded our reach to the south prompting an all-island approach.

The programme for this groundbreaking conference is taking shape. We have secured a brilliant lineup of speakers from all over the island, including tenant participation experts, newcomers to the practice trying new things, and, most importantly, tenants who have gotten involved and volunteered their time and energy to improve housing provision for everyone.”

What is your long-term goal for tenant engagement?

“They say a rising tide lifts all boats, and that’s how I think about our tenant participation work. By advocating for a clear set of standards and implementing a method of benchmarking against those standards, we are raising the quality of tenant engagement for everyone, which ultimately improves housing and improves people’s lives,” said Sheenagh.

Why should people come to this conference?

“If tenant participation interests you, you won’t want to miss this event!” she declared.

“You’ll get to learn from the best Ireland has to offer on both sides of the border and meet like-minded people. We’re bringing the sector together to share experiences and best practices and to facilitate us all to work more collaboratively to improve the tenant experience everywhere.”

Join us for the conference on 13 June! Book your tickets here.

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