A COMMISSION set up this month by the Archbishop of Canterbury to explore ways to address the housing crisis has been welcomed by insulation specialist, Actis.
The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Commission on Housing, Church and Community will explore a Christian perspective on housing policy with a particular focus on providing good homes and promoting thriving communities.
The desire to tackle the growing housing crisis is supported by Actis. The company stands by its philosophy that practical action needs to be taken to increase the UK’s housing stock. Actis’ approach is to encourage an increase in the building of offsite homes, which are 30% faster to build than their brick and block counterparts.
Actis regional sales director, Jemma Harris, said: “While building offsite homes alone isn’t going to provide an instant answer to homelessness and housing insecurity, it is one of many practical elements which can help move our country in the right direction.
“Clearly homelessness is a massive problem. But increasing the speed at which we can build homes, and therefore augment our inadequate housing stock, will play a small part in a much, much wider problem facing modern Britain.
“This latest initiative from the church combines an in-depth look at the social problems many people in this country are facing, with the clout to be able to influence planning and social policy.”
Going forward, academics, housing experts and theologians will meet over an 18-month period to examine how the Church of England can build on its own work in housing and contribute to the national debate on policy.
The creation of community
The commission was set up following the publication last year of Archbishop Justin Welby’s book, Reimagining Britain: Foundations for Hope, in which he argued that the principal aim of housing should be the creation of community and that good housing is essential to equality and justice.
The Archbishop said, “Britain’s housing crisis is one of the major challenges facing this country – and it is hitting the poorest the hardest. While there is already significant work being done to find solutions, the Church has something unique to contribute.
“The Church seeks to bind communities together with bonds of friendship, compassion and mutual support. This teaches us that any way forward must involve building communities, not just houses.
Charlie Arbuthnot, chair of the Commission, said: “We need to build good homes and supportive communities, with the provision of spaces for people to meet, share and celebrate together. We hope to support and inspire all sections of society including public, private and voluntary organisations that share this vision.”