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A Peaceful Path to Real Reform: Delivering non-sectarian housing in Belfast

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15th November, 2021 : 11:00 am 12:00 pm

Negotiating conflict within and between communities is, in many ways, an everyday part of planning practice around the world. However, for planners, campaigners and communities in Belfast, it takes on a more pressing, life-and-death, significance.

Belfast’s history of sectarian violence continues to weigh heavily on its shoulders. With the continued segregation of large parts of the city, the ‘interface zones’ between communities forming flashpoints, and stark inequalities that persist twenty years into the, still fragile, peace process.

Human rights organisation, Participation and Practice of Rights (PPR), has been lobbying for community-led housing in some of Belfast’s most deprived conflict areas. The Town and Country Planning Association is working with them to support a wider conversation about what a non-sectarian, community-led housing initiative would look like for the city.

In this one-off event we will hear from PPR’s Marissa McMahon, who will discuss their campaign, what they are trying to achieve for the community, and the challenges they face in a city which continues to struggle with deep sectarian divisions.  There will also be the opportunity for those attending to put their questions to Marissa as a Q&A during the session.

To read more about the campaign and the TCPA’s involvement, you can read Hugh Ellis’ blog here.

About the speaker, Marissa McMahon:

Marissa currently works as an organiser with the Participation and Practice of Rights (a human rights-based organisation) in Belfast working on the ‘Build Homes Now’ campaign, which aims to tackle systemic religious inequality in housing provision in the North of Ireland.

Marissa has been involved in the campaign since 2009, personally lobbying at both EU and UN level regarding catholic inequality in housing. She has studied housing inequalities with a focus on housing rights movements in South Africa, North of Ireland and the USA using a rights-based approach. She has produced a website www.lessonsforchange.org as a resource for housing activists.

This is a FREE event and will be held online (Zoom). To register to attend, please complete the booking form below. You will then be sent a confirmation email with joining instructions for Zoom.



15th November, 2021
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Event Category:
United Kingdom