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Housing ourselves: an ethnographic exploration of collaborative housing in Ireland

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dc.contributor.advisor Avram, Gabriela
dc.contributor.advisor O'Murchú, Nora O'Shea, Kim 2021-01-07T15:34:06Z 2021-01-07T15:34:06Z 2020
dc.description peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description.abstract This thesis explores collaborative housing in an Irish context through an ethnographic study with a Limerick-based collaborative housing action and research group. It investigates the current models of housing provision in Irish society, and discusses the challenges faced by collaborative housing action groups nationwide. Finally, it explores the current role of technology in establishing and maintaining a network of collaborative housing activists. Collaborative housing can be seen as a subset of the collaborative economy, as it transforms the ways people live by encouraging peer-to-peer exchanges. The collaborative economy, as an economic model based on a network of connected individuals and communities, transforms the way individuals and communities produce and consume (Botsman 2013). Collaborative housing is a model of housing where residents have increased participation in the creation and management of their housing. There are a variety of models of collaborative housing, including cohousing, co-operative housing, and ecological housing initiatives (Lang, Carriou and Czischke 2018). This thesis focuses specifically on cohousing as a model of collaborative housing and explores this model in a European context. Cohousing is a model of living in which some facilities are shared, with each resident having their own private dwelling. It can also be seen as an intentional community in which residents agree on a set of principles and values, and aim to live according to these values. While there are currently no exemplar cohousing projects in Ireland, this study has shown that it remains the most sought-after model of collaborative housing amongst the communities pursuing alternative housing in Ireland. The Irish housing market has consistently relied on private developers to create housing en masse, with little modification to this status quo since the establishment of the Irish state. Historically, Irish housing policy has favoured home ownership as the dominant model of housing provision (Kitchin et al. 2012), which in turn has led to the unexplored domain of ‘alternative’ housing. The collapse of the global economy in 2007-2008 left Ireland with a host of economic issues, centred on housing and property. Abandoned building sites became ‘ghost estates’ nationwide, homelessness rose, and there has been increased reliance on the rental market for the provision of homes. All of this has left a (relatively small) number of individuals and communities in Ireland exploring ‘alternative’ housing models, and the self-provision of housing, including collaborative housing and cohousing. This study adopted an ethnographic approach to collaborative housing, where the researcher assumed the role of participant-as-observer with a local collaborative housing action group (Bryman 2016). The group, Collaborative Housing Limerick, are individuals researching, exploring, and endeavouring to create a collaborative housing development in Limerick City. This ethnographic study also explored the role of technology in connecting individuals and communities, as well as assessing how technology could be utilised in the future to assist with furthering the progress of collaborative housing endeavours and improving communication between stakeholders. The creation of collaborative housing developments can be an exhaustive process with several stages, each taking a significant amount of time (Jarvis 2011), which is why this study is ethnographic in nature. To understand the concept and lived experience of collaborative housing required an immersion in the domain of alternative housing to chart the progress and stages of the group and understand the roles all stakeholders and actors played in this process. Ultimately, this thesis explores the current model of housing provision in Ireland, as well as the current challenges facing collaborative models of housing. These challenges will need to be addressed by local government, national policymakers, property developers and financial institutions if collaborative housing is to succeed in Ireland in the future en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher University of Limerick en_US
dc.subject Irish housing en_US
dc.subject housing provision en_US
dc.subject collaborative housing en_US
dc.subject Irish housing market en_US
dc.title Housing ourselves: an ethnographic exploration of collaborative housing in Ireland en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/masterThesis en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_published_reviewed en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_theses_dissertations en_US
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess en_US

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