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How churches can help tackle UK housing crisis

By building partnerships with housing associations, churches could play a key role in tackling Britain's housing crisis ...

By building partnerships with housing associations, churches could play a key role in tackling Britain's housing crisis.

That’s the message of a new report published by the Centre for Theology & Community in association with Housing Justice.

Our Common Heritage outlines the ways in which churches and housing associations have historically worked together. It also highlights innovative programmes which some churches and housing associations are currently working on together.

More than five million people live in housing association properties across the UK. The Church’s five and a half million members are also present in every community. The six areas identified on which there can be close collaboration between churches and housing associations are:

1 Churches providing land for social housing

2 Churches providing volunteer capacity for housing associations

3 Churches meeting spiritual needs of residents

4 Coming together to campaign and lobby on housing issues

5 Housing associations providing housing for church staff

6 Community-based social investment in housing

The new report has significant support from both the housing and Church sectors. David Orr, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation said:

“If there is one issue that requires a concerted and cooperative approach to address, it is the housing crisis. Churches and housing associations are present within almost every community and occupy unique spaces within them. We share a common mission to improve the lives of communities by taking action to engender positive social change. By bringing together our assets and skills, churches and housing associations can go further in creating lasting change in our communities.”

The Venerable Rachel Treweek, Archdeacon Of Hackney, Bishop-Elect Of Gloucester said:

“I have seen at first hand what the Church can do in partnership with others: how it has been at the heart of initiatives which have secured a Living Wage for low-paid workers, challenged exploitative lending and supported ethical alternatives. I believe the Church can have the same transformative impact on the issue of housing, if we are willing to work with people of good will far beyond our walls. This report has an important part to play in turning that vision into a reality.”

Our Common Heritage was funded by grants from Chapter 1 and Quaker Housing Trust.

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