Church Commissioners: projects tackling homelessness

On 24th April 2017 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered a written question from Kevin Foster MP about homelessness:

Kevin Foster MP: [71313] To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England is taking to support local projects tackling homelessness.

Dame Caroline Spelman: At parish and diocesan level the Church is closely involved in providing support to homeless people through night shelters and other activities, and raising funds and awareness. Recently in the House of Lords bishops supported the Homelessness Reduction Bill. Continue reading “Church Commissioners: projects tackling homelessness”

Bishop of Southwark supports Homelessness Reduction Bill

On 24th February 2017 the House of Lords considered the Homelessness Reduction Bill, a Private Member’s Bill from Lord Best and Bob Blackman MP. The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, spoke in support:

SouthwarkThe Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, in common with the sentiments already expressed, I strongly support this Bill with its emphasis on the reduction of homelessness. Like others, I am heartened by the cross-party work that has been done, not least by the Government, to bring this important legislation to this point. I congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Best, on his sponsorship of the Bill and, in another place, Mr Bob Blackman, the Member for Harrow East. I trust that we will expedite matters at all stages of the Bill and fully endorse what was said by my friend the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Rochester. Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark supports Homelessness Reduction Bill”

Bishop of Rochester supports Homelessness Reduction Bill

On 24th February 2017 the House of Lords considered the Homelessness Reduction Bill, a Private Member’s Bill from Lord Best and Bob Blackman MP. The Bishop of Rochester, Rt Revd James Langstaff, spoke in support:

RochesterThe Lord Bishop of Rochester: My Lords, I declare my interest as the chair of the organisation Housing Justice and thank the noble Lord, Lord Best, for his sponsorship of this Bill in your Lordships’ House. I also add my thanks to Bob Blackman, the Member for Harrow East, for his initiative in bringing forward the Bill in the other place. Before turning to the specifics of the Bill, I will echo the final points made by the noble Lord about the connection between the wider issues of housing supply and housing finance and the sharper end of homelessness which we see on our streets and in other manifestations. It would be such a tragedy if some of those wider matters were not tackled and frustrated the good intentions of this Bill. Continue reading “Bishop of Rochester supports Homelessness Reduction Bill”

Bishop of Norwich questions Government on links between universal credit and homelessness

norwich121016bOn 31st January 2017, Lord Beecham asked Her Majesty’s Government “what steps they plan to take, in addition to their support for the Private Member’s Homelessness Reduction Bill, to tackle the growing problems of homelessness and rough sleeping.” The Lord Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham James, asked a follow up question about the eviction of tenants on universal credit. Continue reading “Bishop of Norwich questions Government on links between universal credit and homelessness”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about situation of homeless migrants

St Albans 2On the 21st December 20165, Lord Shipley asked the Government “what is their latest estimate of the number of people who will be homeless or living in temporary accommodation over the Christmas period”. The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, is the Minister aware of the Housing Justice Night Shelter IMPACT report, which was published this week? It found that of those in night shelters, 14% or roughly 268 were migrants with no recourse to public funds, support or indeed, of course, housing. Will the Minister tell the House what the Government are doing to speed up the process of resolving these difficult cases, which are causing such anxiety and suffering?

Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about situation of homeless migrants”

Bishop of Rochester raises work of churches with rough sleepers

On the 11th January 2016 Baroness Grender asked the Government “what steps they are taking to reduce the number of people who are sleeping rough”. Rt Revd James Langstaff, Bishop of Rochester, asked a supplementary question. 

RochesterThe Lord Bishop of Rochester: My Lords, in my capacity as chair of the charity Housing Justice, an interest that I declare, I am very aware of the work of church and community winter night shelters. Indeed, the organisation provides a charter mark for such initiatives. In the winter of 2014-15, these shelters used some 500 church and other buildings, including mosques and synagogues, to provide winter accommodation, along with tens of thousands of volunteers who welcomed several thousand guests. Sadly, this work is expanding, although I wish it were not. Perhaps I may invite the Minister to affirm the Government’s support for initiatives such as winter shelters not simply as places of temporary shelter but, more importantly, as places where homeless people can be assisted to find longer term, permanent solutions to their circumstances. Continue reading “Bishop of Rochester raises work of churches with rough sleepers”

Bishop of St Albans- Homelessness (Written Answer)

On 18th March 2015, the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received an answer to a written question on Government statistics on homelessness.

Bishop of St AlbansThe Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 9 March (HL5086), when the United Kingdom Statistics Authority expects to complete its assessment of “statistics on homelessness covering homelessness prevention and relief, and rough sleeping”; and where it will be possible to access a copy of its assessment.

Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans- Homelessness (Written Answer)”

Bishop of St Albans- Company Pay and Homelessness (Written Answers)

On Monday 9th March 2015, the Lord Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received  answers to two written questions on (i) company pay differentials, and (ii) the impact of relationship breakdown on homelessness.

Bishop of St AlbansThe Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they have given to requiring all listed companies to report annually on the ratio between the pay of chief executives and the median pay of workers in that company.

Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans- Company Pay and Homelessness (Written Answers)”

Bishop of St Albans asks questions on homelessness and the Somerset Rivers Authority

On 2nd March 2015, the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, received answers to written questions on the Somerset Rivers Authority and homelessness.

Bishop of St AlbansThe Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government how they intend to ensure that the legislative process of making the Somerset Rivers Authority a precepting body progresses in order for it to be established by April 2016.

Lord De Mauley (Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs): The Somerset Rivers Authority, Defra and the Department for Communities and Local Government are currently undertaking a review to identify a long-term, local funding solution for the Somerset Rivers Authority from 2016/17.

The review will look into all possible funding options and how they could be implemented.

(Via Parliament.uk)


Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to review their policies and resources which support relationships, in the light of recent research by Ipsos Mori on behalf of the Salvation Army which suggests that relationship breakdown is the most common cause of homelessness.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Communities and Local Government): This Government has increased spending to prevent homelessness, making over £500 million available to help the most vulnerable in society and have kept strong protections to guard families against the threat of homelessness. As part of this funding we have maintained investment in local authority homelessness prevention services, providing £320 million since 2010/11 which has helped local authorities to prevent over 730,000 cases of homelessness. Almost 38,000 of these were helped to stay in their home through mediation and conciliation schemes.