The latest news from CHA


Tuesday, June 14th 2022 marked the start of the first face-to-face partner meeting of the RED WoLF project since the Covid pandemic. The project has been progressing slowly during this time, with significant delays, so it was great to reunite with the other partners and hear about the exciting progress that has been made recently.

The project partners, including CHA's RED WoLF project manager, Ana Ospina, arrived at 9am on Day 1 at the Science Campus of the University of Lorraine, where they were greeted warmly by the French hosts with coffee and pastries. Introductory words were first spoken by Thierry Divoux, CRAN Associate Director, and Eric Rondeau, of University of Lorraine. The hosts extended a warm welcome to all project partners and were visibly pleased to come together. This was followed by a presentation from project leader Giuseppe Colantuono, of Leeds Becket University. He described the growing momentum of the project and introduced all the newcomers. Giuseppe then passed the floor to the speakers from the pilot sites. Brian Cassidy from Cork City Council reported on the progress of the pilots in Ireland. Ana Ospina from CHA added to the discussion, stating that many tenants are now under pressure from energy poverty and would rather not heat at all than think about installing a smart control system. It became clear that there are still some hurdles to be addressed in the project. The idea of holding information sessions for the residents of the RED WoLF houses was discussed, and specifically the possibility of CHA collaborating with Cork City Council to deliver sessions at the new Home Energy Upgrade Office (HEUGO) on Grand Parade, Cork. The day continued with progress updates from UK pilot partners Oldham Council (OMBC) and First Choice Homes, as well as French pilot partners, EDF. These were followed by an interactive session from Kerstin Köhler, communications manager for the project. After lunch at the University canteen, there was a presentation from Inge Keymeulen, the Interreg NWE representative. After a short presentation of the "Mini-Pilot", the scientific part of the meeting continued with the discussion on "Research results and future initiatives", led by Sylvain Kubler of University of Lorraine. Day 2 consisted of a presentation from Michelle Hemmingfield of SOS regarding the second RED WoLF Summer School and was followed by a stakeholder event at the Nancy Palais de Congres. CHA hopes to get its own pilot up and running in 4 of its houses in the next couple of weeks. Watch this space for more updates coming soon!

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On April 7th, CHA presented a new online event in partnership with University College Cork staff to help showcase a new e-learning tool,, which is designed to help anyone who wants to reduce and become more efficient with their energy use. CHA is recommending the website to all its tenants and partners, and plans to appoint a small number of volunteer Energy Ambassadors to work directly with tenants to help them find practical information about improving their energy efficiency. You can find a recording of the presentation here and on our Facebook and YouTube.

CHA is also working in partnership with Cork City Council on the Interreg North West Europe funded RED WoLF project, which aims to install low-carbon electric heating systems in a number of our homes by the end of 2021. Find out more here:

Cork City Council is also a partner on the INTENSIFY project, also funded by Interreg, which innovatively addresses a key challenge for European cities and regions: how to energise citizens and communities to achieve more carbon reduction. To find out more about the INTENSIFY project, visit their website,, and download their latest newsletter here.

For more information on any of these initiatives or to volunteer as an Energy Ambassador, email

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Carbery Housing Association, based in Skibbereen, West Cork, has purchased 6 more homes in Cork City and County, where families are unable to meet mortgage costs and are at risk of repossession. The purchases have been funded by a commercial loan from the Housing Finance Agency and the AIB Bank, as topped up with standing loans (CALF) from the two Councils.

CHA is negotiating additional loan funding and the purchase of a further 17 properties throughout Cork under this Programme. The purchases of a further 3 properties are held up due to financial charges on their titles from the two Councils. This is due to the fact they were purchased under the Affordable Homes Programme, where the Council supported private owners in the purchase of their homes.

“Unless these charges are waived, these residents will not be able to avail of the Mortgages to Rent safety-net and could face repossession” said Jose Ospina, Chair of Carbery Housing Association.

Today CHA also announced the publication of Tenders for its REDWoLF renewable energy project, which it is progressing alongside fellow project partner Cork City Council. The Project aims to equip social homes with solar panels, solar batteries, storage heaters and smart meters, reducing reliance on fossil fuels, as a means to help to combat climate change. “Eventually, many more existing properties will have to be improved in this way, if Ireland is to meet its CO2 reduction targets” said Jose Ospina, CHA’s Chair. The REDWoLF project is part funded by a Grant from the Interreg North West Europe Programme, SEAI and loan funding from Clann Credo, the ethical finance body.

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