Archbishop of Canterbury praises social housing sector at NHF conference
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has told an audience at the National Housing Federation (NHF) conference that the social housing sector has been at the forefront of tackling homelessness and bringing about urban regeneration since the 1930s.
The cleric said: “The work of housing associations is the envy of the voluntary sector. You can adapt to new environments at speed.”
However, he warned that the challenges British society faces are so huge that no one sector can tackle them alone.
Welby said: “Outside of London, years of thoughtful regeneration are not producing the results we want. Parts of the country seem stuck in an endless cycle of poverty, which I think has less to do with specific policies and more to do with delivery.”
The cleric noted that the rise of food banks is being driven as much by people in work as people out of it.
“The challenge to human flourishing is obvious. The driving force for change should be love, not desperation and fear. Jesus made a point of going where there were people in need. Churches at their best are faith blind. Housing associations have been doing that for years.”
Welby said that he understood that there was some anxiety in the sector about HAs working with religious groups. But he insisted it was safe and that he wanted to challenge the church to become more involved with the sector.
He said: “HAs are one of the best kept secrets in society. People don’t see what they do. Unless you work with them, you don’t see the enormous impact they have.”