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Church calls housing crisis a ‘national scandal’

The Church of England has described the scale and consequences of the current housing crisis in this country as a ‘national scandal’.

A report by the Archbishops’ Commission on Housing, Church and Community warns around 8m people in England currently live in overcrowded, unaffordable or unsuitable homes.

It says the crisis will not be solved without government action and calls for a ‘bold, coherent, long-term housing strategy focused on those in greatest need’.

The report recommends a 20-year housing strategy to increase the supply of affordable homes, backed by substantial investment and a ‘phased reduction’ in the price of land.

‘As a nation, we must also do more to provide safer and more stable homes for people who rent their homes by ensuring longer-term security of tenure, introducing an explicit duty of care on landlords, and improving the quality of temporary accommodation, as well as removing unsafe cladding from all buildings,’ the report states.

The commission has also recommended the Church of England commits to using its land to promote affordable homes, which deliver on the core values of being sustainable, safe, stable, sociable and satisfying.

‘The Church Commissioners welcome this landmark study of the UK’s housing crisis from the Housing Commission, which comes at a critical time for the nation, when so many people are struggling with inadequate homes and living conditions in an environment worsened by the pandemic,’ said First Church Estates commissioner, Loretta Minghella.

‘The Church Commissioners fully support the Commission’s proposal to define what good looks like – sustainable, safe, stable, sociable and satisfying – as an important step in building thriving communities.

‘We recognise the need for long-term planning to tackle the housing crisis and create truly affordable housing, and that cross-party collaboration is vital to making this happen.’

Last month, the Church of England has appointed Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani as its lead bishop for housing.

Bishop Guli, who is currently the Bishop of Loughborough, will take up the new role later this year when she becomes Bishop of Chelmsford.

Photo Credit – Waylin (Pixabay)

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