Britain is in the midst of a housing crisis. Housing costs are rising faster than wages. Inadequate housing support is available to people on low incomes. Not enough new, affordable homes are being built. Waiting lists have grown, and homelessness has increased among families and single people. Rough sleeping has more than doubled since 2010.
Here you can find resources including discussion topics, reflection materials and bible studies to help you and your church community explore a response to the housing crisis.
What will you do to end homelessness?
During the Covid-19 pandemic, we discovered that it was possible to practically end rough sleeping overnight, if the political will was there. As we move forward together, we can’t just return to the way things were before, with mass rough sleeping across our cities and towns. It’s crucial that we respond now.
That’s why we want to start a conversation about what we can do differently to end homelessness. To do this, we need to invite those with lived experiences of homelessness to be central to any discussions we have as congregations.
We have been sharing the stories of people who have experienced homeless and asking them what they want churches to do to end homelessness.
Homeless outreach in the age of Covid
The Joint Public Issues Team and Housing Justice teamed up for a webinar on the changing experiences of homelessness during Covid-19, and how churches can adapt our outreach to meet that changing need.
The webinar was held on 24th November 2020.
With guests from Whitechapel Mission, the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, and Housing Justice, we discussed policy, the future of homeless outreach, and how we can shift our emphasis from temporary fixes to long-term prevention.
Coming Home: Tackling the housing crisis together
Around 8 million people in England are living in overcrowded, unaffordable or unsuitable housing, according to a recent report by the National Housing Federation.
In 2021, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York commissioned the report Coming Home. The report investigates the housing crisis, particularly its effects on those caught in poverty. The scale and consequences of the housing crisis have been further exposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
This report sets out actions for the Church, Government and other Stakeholders to take with a focus on building better communities and more truly affordable homes, not just houses. Some of our partner churches were involved in the report’s production.
More than bricks and mortar?
Our updated resource considers the political, practical and theological questions around our engagement with the housing and crisis. What is the nature of the problem? As Christians, how can we speak truth and strive for justice in this area? What policies would make a meaningful difference, and how can we campaign for these, as well as making change happen in our own communities?
A place to call home?
These six Bible studies for small group discussion focus on a range of issues around housing. It is produced by our four churches in collaboration with Housing Justice and Scottish Churches Housing Action. As individuals and congregations, how can we be stimulated to consider our responsibilities and act in the face of housing issues that are becoming an increasing reality in communities up and down the country?
Responding to the housing and homelessness crisis
In Spring 2019, Methodist Synods were consulted on the work they are undertaking to respond to the housing crisis. The response to this was to suggest a four stream approach: Reduction, Respite, Recovery and Reduction.