Quakers in Britain condemn sales of social housing stock

By agency reporter
May 6, 2015

Quakers in Britain have spoken out strongly against the proposal to extend the ‘right to buy’ legislation to housing associations.

The statement came as more than a thousand Quakers from across the country and around the world, met in London. The four-day Yearly Meeting focused on social injustice.

Quakers say the concern is “Driven by our belief that all are equally children of God and our experience that a home is essential for our spiritual wellbeing, not just for our physical and mental health.”

The statement said: “There is a continuing housing crisis in this country and inequality in housing is a highly visible and damaging symptom of injustice in our society.”

“We are called to resist and challenge policies that contribute to inequality and exclusion from access to housing, whether social housing or the private sector. One of these is the proposal to extend ‘right to buy’ legislation to housing associations which would adversely affect many and could limit their ability to provide decent affordable homes for future beneficiaries.”

Jenny Brierley of Quaker Housing Trust told the meeting: “We need to have faith that the housing crisis is solvable, just as those tackling slavery believed it could be overcome.” She called for a “fundamental change in the values that underpin political and economic decisions.”

In the run-up to the General Election a webinar was held on housing justice in Friends House in London. Jessica Metheringham, parliamentary engagement officer for Quakers in Britain, was joined by Judith Moran of Quaker Social Action and Jenny Brierley of Quaker Housing Trust.

* Quakers are known formally as the Religious Society of Friends.Around 23,000 people attend 478 Quaker meetings in Britain. Their commitment to equality, justice, peace, simplicity and truth challenges them to seek positive social and legislative change.

* Quakers in Britain http://www.quaker.org.uk/

* More on the issues in the 2015 General Election from Ekklesia: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/generalelection2015


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