The Church of England has said that parish churches should get more involved in local housing issues across England and has given landlord licensing its blessing.

Its Commission on Housing, Church and Community argues that as a significant landowner, it has to lead by example, particularly after listening to parish clergy who are reporting that pastoral problems are often linked to housing.

It highlights one Ealing parish that’s leading the way by backing the local council’s efforts to introduce selective licensing in the borough.

St Barnabas’s and Christ the Saviour churches started a campaign about affordable housing and lobbied candidates at the local elections, with a demand that Ealing should extend selective landlord licensing across the whole borough.

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All of them agreed to back the idea, although the council has yet to implement this.

The Church of England is also on a mission to bring private landlords to task as part of its proposals to address the housing crisis, and recently created a ‘rental market bishop’.

Its new Coming Home report calls on the government to provide greater protection for private sector tenants through longer-term security of tenure and by placing a duty of care on all landlords.

Thorough review

It wants a thorough review of tenancy agreements in the private rented sector and for the removal of Section 21 evictions.

The report says: “We urge the government to deliver on its manifesto commitment and to ensure predictable rents and long-term security of tenure, with a clear, limited set of exceptions.”

It adds: “Landlords, particularly in the social rented sector, should ensure that the voices of tenants are heard, considered and acted on in designing services for tenants.”

The commission also urges ministers to review the social security system and its failure to provide adequate housing support for low-income household. It recommends the restoration of Local Housing Allowances to median rents in each local area.

Read more about the report.

PIC credit: www.churchofengland.org

3 COMMENTS

  1. I can’t see in the article where the church has made a solid commitment to providing housing for the most vulnerable. As I read it, it seems the church is suggesting to others how they should do it.

    “The Church of England is also on a mission to bring private landlords to task as part of its proposals to address the housing crisis, …….’.

    It doesn’t need to do this – local councils are there for this.

    “It adds: “Landlords, particularly in the social rented sector, should ensure that the voices of tenants are heard, considered and acted on in designing services for tenants.” ”

    ‘designing services for tenants’ what’s that supposed to entail? Laundry collections? Meals? Taking them out for the day? As a landlord I let a property and abide by legislation and the tenant rents. No other services are included.

  2. Another part of society not actually providing anything but happy to tell those that do what they are doing wrong.

    Again yet more people that simply don’t understand basic economics , if the government continue to extend the rights tenants have whilst increasing costs for landlords all that does is make the business model for the PRS unattractive. Rather than improving tenants rents, security and choice all this type of lobbying will do is reduce landlord numbers, reduce available property and increase rents.

    Maybe the church will then step in to buy up housing stock and put their money where their mouth is , but I bet they won’t, much easier to comment from the sidelines.

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