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?
Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government to increase social 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?
Continue reading “Archbishop asks Government about plans to build communities and affordable housing”
On 27th February 2020 Lord Young of Cookham asked Her Majesty’s Government “what progress they have made in meeting their target of delivering 300,000 homes per year by the mid-2020s.” The Bishop of London, Rt Revd Sarah Mullally, asked a follow up question:
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”
On 13th June 2019 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered a written question from Frank Field MP on affordable housing:
Continue reading “Church Commissioners Written Answer: Affordable housing”
On the 07 August 2018 the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Dr Alan Smith received a written answer from Lord Bourne about planning policy in rural areas.
Continue reading “Written Answer – Bishop of St Albans questions the Government about Planning Policy in Rural Areas”
On Thursday 11th January 2018 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Best, “That this House takes note of the performance of the United Kingdom’s major housebuilders.” The Bishop of Newcastle, Rt Revd Christine Hardman, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Newcastle: My Lords, it may be no coincidence of timing that as we debate the performance of the major housebuilders, every day this week in the financial press we have seen the trading results of many of these major companies, the latest being Barratt this morning, the country’s largest housebuilder. There is a consistent picture of extraordinarily high levels of profit and cash being returned to shareholders. However, my first point is that past history tells us this will not last. Housebuilding is a highly cyclical industry and when the next recession comes, new house sales will plummet, as they did in 2003 and 2008. Housebuilders, especially the smaller ones, will fail, and there will be high unemployment in the building trades. Continue reading “Bishop of Newcastle says housing shortage must be tackled by helping small builders and lifting restrictions on local authorities to borrow and build”
On 29th November 2016, Lord Beecham asked Her Majesty’s Government, “further to the announcement in the Autumn Statement that they will invest £1.4 billion to deliver 40,000 affordable homes, how many affordable houses to rent they expect local authorities to build by 2020.” The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow up question.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans My Lords, in the financial year 2015-16, the Government’s own statistics show that just 6,550 homes for social rent were completed. That is the lowest number since records began and far below the just under 40,000 completed in the years 2010-11. Would the Minister agree with me that whatever the value of other forms of affordable tenure, only social rented housing is going to deal with the problem faced by the most disadvantaged communities? Will he further tell the House what the Government are doing to address this rapid decline in the provision of this form of housing?
Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government to invest in social rented housing”
On 11th October 2016, Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville asked the government “how they plan to improve the quality and affordability of housing in the United Kingdom”. The Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Revd James Langstaff, contributed to the debate.
Continue reading “Bishop of Rochester calls for more affordable housing”
On 15th September 2016 Lord Kennedy of Southwark asked Her Majesty’s Government “what action they are taking to reverse the decline in home ownership.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, while the price of land continues to increase so rapidly, landowners have much less incentive for immediate development, particularly if they are negotiating with local authorities over their desire for more affordable housing requirements. Will Her Majesty’s Government take further steps to tackle land-banking, so that we can get more houses up more quickly? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans calls for more home building, less land banking”