05 February 2020
How to address the growing crisis of homelessness and shortage of affordable housing will be the focus at a gathering of people working on the ground across the country in Birmingham this week.
The event on 8 February has been convened by the Revd Ian Rutherford from Methodist Central Hall, Manchester who is Chair of the Greater Manchester Homelessness Faith Network and an architect of Mayor Andy Burnham’s “A Bed Every Night” Programme and London based minister, the Revd Mike Long, who chaired the Commission of the charity Shelter, A Vision for Social Housing.
The Revd Ian Rutherford, said:
“The Church needs to exercise a holistic model in addressing rough sleeping and homelessness, engaging not only in offering respite but also recovery and reconnection and campaigning for reduction through systemic change.”
The Revd Mike Long, said:
“The housing crisis continues to grow with a lack of stock of affordable homes across the country. We will be discussing how churches can respond through awareness-raising, campaigning and the use of our properties.”
Action that has already been taken by the Methodist Church includes adopting a new property strategy which supports churches planning to provide housing, and particularly social housing, to meet local needs.
Rachel Lampard, Leader of the Joint Public Issues Team which helps the Methodist Church speak out on issues of justice, said:
“With a new government in place this is an important time to prioritise key areas of policy that need to be addressed. From how local housing allowances need to be fixed to realistic rents, to abolishing Section 21 eviction notices, we want to hear from people working on the ground so that we can accurately reflect their areas of concern through the Church’s campaigns.”
The Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Commission on Housing, Church and Community will both be represented at the event. The Methodist Church has funded an intern to work at the Commission.
More details about the event and how to book – https://carrslane.co.uk/housing-and-homelessness-methodist-gathering/
For background on theological, practical and political responses to the housing crisis read More than Bricks and Mortar?, a report produced by the Joint Public Issues Team.