Housing justice calls for councils to be enabled to build more homes

By staff writers
February 5, 2009

Housing Justice, the churches housing campaign, is encouraging UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown to move quickly to allow local councils to build more homes to meet urgent needs.

It also want them to be able to keep the receipts from right-to-buy sales and rents to help to pay for new houses and essential infrastructure works.

"[A]s well as being fast and cost-effective, councils also need to show that they will build to the high-quality standards we have come to expect from housing associations, and if they become landlords they must be subject to the same provisions for tenant involvement and services as any registered social landlord," says Alison Gelder, chief executive of Housing Justice, in a letter to the Guardian newspaper.

She continues "[i]n addition we would like to see the government introduce incentives to persuade people (whether owners or renters) to downsize so that larger homes are freed up for overcrowded families."

The calls comes as part of the current Poverty and Homelessness Action Week (PHAW), which has been running from 31 January 2009, and it ends on to 8 February.

Housing Justice is the national voice of Christian action in the field of housing and homelessness. "We exist because we believe that human dignity is challenged by the lack of decent housing," it says.

"We support night-shelters, drop-ins and hundreds of practical projects nationwide by providing advice and training for churches and other community groups who work with homeless people," a spokesperson for the NGo says.

"We work by uniting Christians and churches of all denominations across the country to work for change. We embrace partnerships with people of all faiths (and none) who share our values of social justice and compassion."

More information: http://www.housingjustice.org.uk/

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