On 12th November 2020 the House of Lords asked questions of Government on the Covid-19 lockdown and its impact on homelessness and rough sleepers. The Bishop of Durham asked a question:
The Lord Bishop of Durham [V]: The Salvation Army has an innovative project for short-term housing solutions by using “meanwhile use” land to provide high-quality modular homes rooted in church communities and supported by wider community groups. This gives the residents the provision of a flat and the relational support of the community. What consideration have Her Majesty’s Government given to the Salvation Army’s innovative approach to homelessness and similar projects? Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks about innovative solutions to homelessness”
On 4th November 2020 the House of Lords heard the repeat of a Government statement on economic support during the second Covid-19 lockdown. The Bishop of St Albans asked a question in response:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans [V]: My Lords, there has been a particular problem in the rental market, whereby renters and landlords have suffered as a result of these latest measures. Given the temporary protection from eviction for those living in tier 2 and 3 areas, could the Government confirm whether an eviction ban will now be extended across the country and whether they will now develop a strategy to help tackle arrears brought on by Covid to avoid a tragic spike in homelessness? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks whether ban of evictions will be extended”
On 23rd September 2020 the House of Lords debated the Government’s Civil Procedure (Amendment No. 4) (Coronavirus) Rules 2020.
Two Motions were also debated alongside the Rules. The first to annul them “because they will permit evictions of individuals who have been served a notice of eviction between 23 March and 28 August before Parliament has had an opportunity to debate the impact of the Rules on (1) homelessness, and (2) the spread of COVID-19”.
The second “that the House regrets that they…will not continue to protect tenants from eviction, and calls on the Government to amend the Housing Act 1998 to give courts temporary discretion on evictions, including on evictions arising from rent arrears”.
The Bishop of Rochester, Rt Revd James Langstaff, spoke in the debate and supported the motion to regret. Continue reading “Bishop of Rochester speaks against Government rule to resume eviction procedures”
On 18th May 2020 a statement was given regarding housing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bishop of Portsmouth, Rt Revd Christopher Foster, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of Portsmouth: My Lords, the Statement speaks of homes for all people as the Government’s vision, so I congratulate them on the funding they have made available which has allowed a huge amount to be done to support homeless people in a very short space of time. Does the Minister accept that withdrawing dedicated funding risks undermining all that has been achieved in providing housing as a first step towards the homeless having homes?
Continue reading “Bishop of Portsmouth asks the Government about housing for homeless after Covid-19”
On 14th May 2020 the virtual House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Bird “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to support people who were previously homeless into permanent housing after the COVID-19 pandemic.” The Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, spoke in the short debate:
The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, I applaud the achievement of accommodation having been offered to 90% of rough sleepers. The community collaboration that achieved this reflects the focus of the housing commission set up by the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury of building strong communities alongside homes. What plans do Her Majesty’s Government have to create multiagency partnerships to create an integrated homelessness system? Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks Government to help rough sleepers leaving Covid-19 temporary accommodation”
On 27th February 2020 the House of Lords heard the repeat of a Government statement on the latest rough sleeping annual statistics for 2019, and the approach of the Government. The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, I am grateful for that Statement and look forward to the review by Dame Louise Casey. Does the Minister agree that many elements of civil society, particularly churches, faith communities and charities, while waiting for this, are out on the streets almost every night? I refer to what we call floating shelters in many parts of the country through the winter months—which can be five months—which skew the figures a bit, because they take people off the streets. There are some excellent examples in my neck of the woods, where the churches host rough sleepers overnight and the mosques provide the curry. Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds pays tribute to churches, faith groups and charities providing floating shelters”
On 9th January 2020, the Bishop of Portsmouth, Rt Revd Christopher Foster, spoke in the Queen’s Speech debate, about unifying the nation by building on the expansion of the Living Wage and addressing welfare, child poverty, homelessness and help for the disabled:
The Lord Bishop of Portsmouth: My Lords, it is stating the obvious to say that these are turbulent, uncertain times, perhaps the most turbulent in living memory, even when that memory belongs to Members of your Lordships’ House—a particular, special demographic. It is striking in the face of so much that is uncertain and unknown that the Government’s rhetoric is of clarity, confidence, and even dash. However, while the terrain might be new, much of the rhetoric is from an older school. What is novel is from whom it comes. Continue reading “Bishop of Portsmouth responds to Queen’s Speech – how to build ‘one-nation’”
On 25th July 2019 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Farmer (Con) that the House “takes note of the needs of women in the criminal justice system”. The Bishop of Rochester contributed to the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Rochester: My Lords, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Farmer, for obtaining this debate and for his unstinting efforts in this area, not least the welcome emphasis in his most recent report on relationships, which he expounded so clearly when introducing this debate.
I am sorry that the right reverend Prelates the Bishop of Gloucester and the Bishop of Newcastle are not in their places today, because they both take a very close and informed interest in the issues around women in the criminal justice system. However, I have visited a good number of women’s prisons over the last few years and, in making those visits, I have been both shocked and inspired.
Continue reading “Bishop of Rochester highlights needs of vulnerable women prisoners”
On 1st April 2019 Lord Roberts of Llandudno asked Government “whether they will take immediate steps to tackle the issue of rough sleeping.” The Bishop of Peterborough, Rt Revd Donald Allister, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of Peterborough: My Lords, I thank the Minister for the answers he has given so far and for the Government’s investment. In the city of Peterborough we have seen, as in many other places, a large increase in rough sleeping. The third sector groups, including the churches, have been doing a great deal to support rough sleepers, but one of the problems we are very conscious of is how tight money is for local government. Does he agree that local government financial settlements could be part of the solution, with targeted money to local government specifically to help rough sleepers?
Continue reading “Bishop of Peterborough asks Government about help for rough sleepers”
On 21st February 2019 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered three written questions from MPs, on Christian persecution overseas, homelessness, and married couples’ tax allowances.
Jim Shannon(Strangford): To ask the Right Honourable Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what humanitarian support the Church of England provides to people overseas that are persecuted for their Christian beliefs. Continue reading “Church Commissioner Questions – Christian persecution overseas, homelessness, married couples’ tax allowance”