Jerene Irwin, co-ownership architect.

This blog post is particularly special for me (Daisy- Founder at Mortgage Mates) because we are sharing the vision of a not only a leading female UK architect, but also a close friend of mine, Jerene Irwin.

Jerene and I met in high school some 20 plus years ago (not that we like to admit this age wise), and whilst our careers took us on very different paths (Jerene studied Architecture and I studied Humanities and Law) more recently our professional expertise overlapped when it came to the subject of housing, co-ownership and community.

A bit about Jerene:

‘When I left university, like many of us, my priorities were different to how they are 15 years later. I wanted to travel and see the world, have amazing experiences and enjoy everything life offered  but fundamentally I also saw owning my own home as part of my future happiness. 

Unfortunately this seemed out of my reach, low starting salaries and many other expenses, plus students debts meant my options were limited. Don’t get me wrong, moving into a house share and living with strangers that have become lifelong friends was amazing but could it really be a long term solution?

Working towards or within your chosen career  or even just surviving month to month, it  doesn’t leave much spare cash, and owning your own house doesn’t feel possible most of the time. 

I don’t think I could have imagined at 18 the direction my life would have taken, mostly because at that age your life experience is so limited, despite what you think at the time. Training to be an architect changed my perception of the world, and for the better.

The most important thing I ever learnt was that architecture was fundamentally about people, not about fancy looking buildings or spaces but the people at the heart of everything. I spend my time creating buildings and spaces that are for everyone, where they live, they work and they play, and my job is to create places that are safe, healthy, beautiful and good for the soul.’