Bishop of Newcastle says housing shortage must be tackled by helping small builders and lifting restrictions on local authorities to borrow and build

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”

Bishop of St Albans asks about help for homeless care leavers and ex-offenders

On 10th January 2018 the Bishop ofSt Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer to two questions on rough sleeping in London by care leavers and ex-offenders:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: 

(i) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the finding of the APPG on Homelessness that, between January and March, 11 per cent of rough sleepers in London were care leavers; and what assessment they have made of the quality of housing support provision for care leavers. HL4372

(ii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the finding of the APPG on Homelessness that, between January and March, 37 per cent of rough sleepers in London had experience of being in prison; and what assessment they have made of housing support provision for ex-offenders. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks about help for homeless care leavers and ex-offenders”

Bishop of Gloucester supports Government Bill to aid victims of domestic violence

On Tuesday 9th January 2018 the House of Lords debated at Second Reading the Government’s ‘Secure Tenancies (Victims of Domestic Abuse) Bill [HL]’. The Bishop of Gloucester, Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, welcomed the Bill:

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: I wish to comment only briefly today, first by paying tribute to the noble Baroness, Lady Lister, for her work on this issue and by thanking both her and my right reverend friend the Bishop of St Albans for their initial work during the passage of the Housing and Planning Act. Secondly, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Bourne, for his commitment to addressing this issue. I also need to declare an interest as an ambassador for the charity Restored, an international Christian alliance that seeks to end violence against women.

As has been said, domestic abuse of any sort is demeaning, degrading and something that no one should have to endure. Continue reading “Bishop of Gloucester supports Government Bill to aid victims of domestic violence”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about impact on homeless numbers of freeze in local housing allowance

On 9th January 2018 Lord Kennedy of Southwark asked Her Majesty’s Government “how many families were homeless over Christmas 2017.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, research by the charity Shelter suggests that if current government policy continues as it is, 83% of areas in England will be unaffordable to those on local housing allowances by 2019-20. What assessment have Her Majesty’s Government made of the effect of the freeze on levels of homelessness? When will that freeze come to an end? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about impact on homeless numbers of freeze in local housing allowance”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about homelessness and empty homes

On January 8th 2018 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received written answers to three questions on homelessness, welfare reform and empty homes:

(i) The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they have taken to assess the impact of welfare reforms since 2012 on homelessness; and if such assessments have been undertaken, what were the conclusions. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about homelessness and empty homes”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about support for homeless people

StAlbans161117On the 19th December the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith  asked a question he had tabled to Government on homelessness:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they plan to take to address increasing homelessness and demand for temporary accommodation.

Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about support for homeless people”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about increase in rough sleeping in rural areas

On 7th December 2017 Baroness Gardner of Parkes asked Her Majesty’s Government “what steps they are taking to support councils to provide emergency housing to help those who have been made unintentionally homeless.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, we have heard a great deal about urban areas in cities and the capital, but what about rural areas? What are Her Majesty’s Government doing to address the issue of homelessness in the countryside, where there has been a 52% increase in rough sleeping in our rural areas? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about increase in rough sleeping in rural areas”