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Derv Heaney on Responding to the Housing Crisis with Design

Derv Heaney is a designer and researcher from Northern Ireland and currently works for the UK's leading youth charity, The Prince's Trust. Having experienced homelessness followed by 10 years in rented accommodation, she set up The Holding Project, which seeks to offer a housing solution for Generation Rent and other vulnerable groups in the midst of the housing crisis. She has been awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship to travel to Finland, Sweden and the USA to research New Approaches to Affordable Housing.

Derv is the founder of The Holding Project, a social enterprise which will build 20 micro houses for young people on vacant land within Belfast City Centre. The project will focus on young people who are struggling to make ends meet within the social housing or private rent sector, and will offer them the chance to live on lower rent within the project for two to three years. While living within The Holding Project, 20% of the rent paid is put into a savings account for the young person, giving them a lump sum at the end which could be used to enter the housing market, to start a business or to achieve a major life goal. The community rotates every two to three years, allowing us to help as many people as possible. Derv and her two partners have recently been awarded £20,000 by social enterprise funders towards building their first prototype. At this talk, she’ll be discussing her research interests and work on the Holding Project.

The CPID Talks are aimed at fostering a dialogue about interesting work being done that is relevant to the public interest design field by inviting speakers from a wide variety of disciplines to share their work and thoughts in an informal setting. These talks are open to the public and held in the CPID office in the School of Architecture at PSU (Shattuck Hall 217).

Free and open to the public.