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Dáithí Downey

Dr. Dáithí Downey joined NESC as a Policy Analyst in 2023. His research interests include planning and sustainable development, social and affordable housing systems and finance, affordability and the economics of housing markets, housing needs and homelessness, inclusion, migration and relationships between the built environment, health inequalities and wellbeing.

Prior to joining NESC Dáithí worked with Dublin City Council where he was Director of the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) to end of 2016, having previously been Deputy Director and Head of Policy and Service Delivery from 2006. Dáithí was a member of the leadership team that developed the Pathway to Home model (2009) and reconfigured Dublin’s statutory and NGO homeless, housing, support and health services into an integrated, housing-led service model focused on person-centred outcomes. In 2017 Dáithí became Head of Housing Policy, Research and Development for Dublin City Council and established the Dublin Housing Observatory research and strategy unit. His outputs include the launch of the Observatory’s online geospatial housing data navigator (with OSi, CSO and AIRO) (2018) and publication of Home at Last research into the impact of Dublin’s Rapid Build housing programme for homeless households (2018). Dáithí led research and policy development with the Eurocities Housing Working Group on affordable housing finance models (2018-2020) and with EC DG-GROW on the impact of Short Term Rentals in Dublin’s rental market (2019-2020). He delivered the interim Housing Needs Demand Assessment (HNDA) model for the housing strategy adopted under the City Development Plan, 2022-2028. He led Dublin’s successful programme of policy development and knowledge exchange on cost rental and social housing with the City of Vienna including the Vienna Model exhibition and programme of events in Dublin (2019) and the podcast series This is Where We Live. He continued Dublin’s participation as a city partner with Vienna’s International Building Exhibition (IBA_WIEN 2022) on new social housing. In 2020 Dáithí was appointed Chief Officer to Dublin City’s Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) with responsibilities including the coordination of the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) and expansion of Sláintecare funded public health and wellbeing services in Dublin. He also led the review and preparation of Dublin’s statutory Local Economic and Community Plan (LECP) 2023-2028.

Prior to joining DCC, Dáithí worked with public bodies and NGOs as a housing practitioner, researcher and analyst in the UK and Ireland. Dáithí holds a PhD in Geography from the Faculty of Science and Engineering, Trinity College Dublin and was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS) in 2016. He served as a member of the Royal Irish Academy (RIA) Social Sciences Committee (2018-2022) and is an Occasional Lecturer with the School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy at University College Dublin. 





Dublin Housing Observatory data navigator:  

Vienna Model of Housing: 

This is Where We Live podcast series:  

International Building Exhibition for Social Housing  


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