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Pentyrch St Baptist Church land before and after
housing justice cymru.jpg
Pentyrch St Baptist Church land before and after
UK News

Christian homeless charity using technology to address housing crisis in new way

by Tola Mbakwe

A Christian homeless charity is using innovative software to help alleviate homelessness in Wales.

Housing Justice Cymru (HJC) said its new digital map matches churches who have vacant land with housing organisations who purchase or lease the land for the development of socially rented homes. 

The charity said it makes the meticulous work of identifying places for affordable housing a lot easier.

The map, which has been developed in conjunction with Knight Frank, was commissioned by Housing Justice Cymru's Faith in Affordable Housing programme. 

It's led by architect Sian Bradley, who has extensive experience in the homelessness sector and in the conservation of historic buildings.

Bradley said: "The Faith in Affordable Housing programme has had significant success in enabling churches to use their surplus land and derelict buildings to benefit the community by developing truly affordable housing for people in need. 

"This is achieved by pairing faith groups who have vacant land with housing organisations, who purchase or lease the land for the development of socially rented homes. 

"This new digital map will make the painstaking work of identifying potential development sites much faster and easier, helping us to grow the programme at pace. This model for releasing land in the heart of communities for social good has proven to be extremely successful."

Nationwide Foundation recently awarded HJC £320,291 over the next three years to continue this work across Wales using a new best practice model. This model involves HJC partnering with nine regional housing associations who have been through a rigorous selection process to ensure they understand the difficulties faced by churches, and build the highest quality homes at truly affordable rent levels.

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