Bishop of Chelmsford asks about affordable housing

The Bishop of Chelmsford received the following written answer on 14th November 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Chelmsford asked His Majesty’s Government:

  • given the current definition of affordable housing in the National Planning Policy Framework, whether they consider that rents set at 80 per cent of market rates should continue to be described as ‘affordable rent’ when this represents more than a third of the income of the average tenant in such accommodation
  • whether they plan to calculate the affordability of housing on the basis of the income of potential tenants.
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Bishop of Durham speaks about need for more social and affordable housing

The Bishop of Durham spoke in a debate on housing demand on 8th November 2022, emphasising the need to build more social housing and affordable homes:

The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, I begin by commending the report and thank the noble Lord, Lord Moylan, for introducing this debate. I also commend the work of my right reverend friend the Bishop of Chelmsford, who, as the Church of England’s lead bishop for housing, has tirelessly engaged with this issue and the Social Housing (Regulation) Bill.

Last year, the Archbishops’ Commission on Housing, Church and Community published its Coming Home report, which set out a vision for housing to be sustainable, safe, stable, sociable and satisfying. It is through these values that strong and lasting communities can be built, enabling people to thrive and flourish. It was very interesting to note how warmly these five values were welcomed by the industry itself as a guide.

However, the reality is that a large proportion of housing in this country does not embody these values. It is widely stated that we face a housing crisis, including a shortage of social housing. Social housing is designed to help those whose needs are not served by the market, most commonly those on the lowest incomes. However, when Meeting Housing Demand was published, 1.9 million households were on local authority waiting lists for social housing in England. With rents and interest rates rapidly rising, more households are being pushed into poverty and this list is only growing longer.

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Bishop of Chelmsford asks about affordable housing, housebuilding, and renters’ reform

The Bishop of Chelmsford received the following written answers on 2nd November 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Chelmsford asked His Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of raising the threshold at which affordable housing quotas apply, from developments of 10 houses to developments of (1) 40, and (2) 50 houses, on the creation of affordable housing stock.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook (Con): In August 2020, HMG consulted on raising the threshold at which affordable housing contributions are required from 10 units to 40 or 50 units. This was proposed as part of the ‘Changes to the Current Planning System’.

Continue reading “Bishop of Chelmsford asks about affordable housing, housebuilding, and renters’ reform”

Bishop of St Albans asks about affordable housing

The Bishop of St Albans received the following written answer on 1st November 2022:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked His Majesty’s Government what progress they have made on their plans to scrap the new affordability rules for housing developments.

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Bishop of Chelmsford asks about affordable housing

The Bishop of Chelmsford received the following written answer on 24th October 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Chelmsford asked His Majesty’s Government whether they plan to include a revision of the definition of affordable housing in the National Planning Policy Framework review.

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Church Commissioner Questions: Ukrainian Refugees, Persecuted Christians, Holy Trinity Church Wingate, Affordable and Sustainable Housing, and Accessibility of Churches

 On 8th September 2022, MPs put questions in the House of Commons to the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP:

Ukrainian Refugees

Greg Smith (Buckingham) (Con):

1. What steps the Church is taking to help support Ukrainian refugees. 

Sir Desmond Swayne (New Forest West) (Con):

7. What steps the Church is taking to help support Ukrainian refugees.

Andrew Selous: Six bishops and hundreds of clergy have Ukrainian evacuees living with them, and the Church of England is using vacant vicarages in a number of places. Churches are also actively involved in recruiting new hosts where needed.

Continue reading “Church Commissioner Questions: Ukrainian Refugees, Persecuted Christians, Holy Trinity Church Wingate, Affordable and Sustainable Housing, and Accessibility of Churches”

Bishop of Southwark presses Government on shortage of council housing and affordable homes

On 8th September 2020 Members of the House of Lords questioned the Government on their targets for new home building. The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, asked a question:

The Lord Bishop of Southwark: The Minister will be aware that council housing lists are running at over 1 million, and in my diocese, private rental is a prohibitive drain on all but the most generous of incomes. Will he outline what proportion of the 300,000 new homes will be assigned to social housing? Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark presses Government on shortage of council housing and affordable homes”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government to increase social housing

On 16th June Baroness Sanderson of Welton asked Her Majesty’s Government “when they plan to publish the social housing White Paper“. The Rt Revd Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans, asked a follow up question focusing on the loss of social housing units.

The Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, these Benches welcome the upcoming White Paper, but we are still losing tens of thousands of social housing units annually, with a net loss of 17,000 in 2019 alone. Can the Minister confirm to your Lordships’ House that increasing social housing will be addressed in the White Paper, and is he able to give us some indication as to the steps that Her Majesty’s Government will implement to address this worrying decline?

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Archbishop asks Government about plans to build communities and affordable housing

On 18th March 2020 Baroness Thornhill asked the Government “what assessment they have made of the results of the Housing Delivery Test, published on 13 February.” The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Revd Justin Welby, asked a follow-up question:

The Archbishop of Canterbury:  The Question from the noble Baroness, Lady Thornhill, is pertinent. Last year I set up a commission to look at the building of housing and communities. Simply the delivery of more houses does not create better communities. The mere existence of houses is not in itself a virtue. It comes back to fattening the pig, as the noble Baroness put it so well. What powers will the planned legislation give to local authorities to ensure that affordable housing is delivered? The experience is that, although there may be a commitment to it in the early stages of planning, as the process goes on the number of affordable houses diminishes very severely. There is a lack of imagination over the forms of ownership. If we are to have communities, we must have facilities and the capacity to build those communities together. Does the Minister agree with that, and what are the plans?

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Bishop of London asks Government if income instead of market value could be used to define affordability in housing

The Lord Bishop of London: My Lords, will the Minister say whether the Government are planning to look at different versions of what affordability might mean in relation to housing? I am sure noble Lords know that the West Midlands Combined Authority has been looking at income rather than market value. This has brought house prices within easier reach of more people in lower income brackets. Continue reading “Bishop of London asks Government if income instead of market value could be used to define affordability in housing”

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