To solve the housing crisis, we need a similar long-term goal. Our housing crisis is really an affordability crisis. We don’t just need more houses, we need more good quality houses that people can genuinely afford.
What if we were to set a target for the number of truly affordable homes we need in 20 years’ time? What if we were to work out the financial gap between the cost of providing them and what they would cost at normal market prices? What if successive governments then had the task of planning ahead how to meet that gap by whatever means necessary?
The Church of England is stepping up to play its part. We own land and property and are looking to make some of that land available for affordable housing, and inviting others to do the same, even though it is bound to mean an element of sacrifice. Jesus taught us that there are two simple tasks at the heart of human life: to love God and to love our neighbour, whoever they happen to be. If that neighbour doesn’t have somewhere safe, stable and satisfying to live in, then we must do all we can to help them find that.
Thirty years ago, ideas such as the minimum wage as a way of fighting poverty and the need for radical policies on climate change seemed fringe issues – cranky policies proposed by a few wild and weird figures on the edges of political life. Now they are mainstream, and every government has to sign up to them. We need the same for housing.
"What has been lacking in the housing sector is any idea of a long-term strategy" – my article with @JustinWelby on what it will take to heal the housing crisis and the role the church can play in that. #ComingHomeReport https://t.co/NazyykZYzL
— Graham Tomlin (@gtomlin) February 24, 2021