More than 8 million people in Britain are living in unsafe, unsuitable and unaffordable housing. This is not right, and is made only more evident by the Covid-19 pandemic. We also remember the Grenfell Tower disaster, in which inadequate housing contributed to tragic loss of life.
In April 2019, the Archbishop of Canterbury set up the Commission on Housing, Church and Community with the remit of re-imagining housing policy and will report its findings in February 2021. We will make recommendations to Government and housing developers, and are looking at what actions the Church of England could take, in partnership with others, to help tackle the crisis locally, regionally and nationally. The Commission believes 5 core values must be at the heart of a new standard for what good housing should look like:
Safe – All housing should be free from dangers like damp, risk of fire, intruders or the cold.
Stable – Homes should be affordable place where individuals and families can settle and put down roots without the fear of eviction.
Sustainable – We need housing that does not harm our planet, but that sustains the balance of the natural world we live in and depend on.
Sociable – Housing must have enough space inside and outside to socialise, exercise, to get to know our neighbours and be part of a community.
Satisfying – Good homes should be efficient and utilise innovative design and technology to create a space that is comfortable, a place where we truly belong.
Adapted from a press release from Housing Justice and the Archbishop’s Commission on Housing, Church and Community.
To find out more, and with ideas of how to get involved individually or as a church or community, please visit: https://housingjustice.org.uk/what-you-can-do/response-to-local-housing-need