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Church News

Bishop pledges almost 400 affordable homes on church land to tackle homelessness

by Sophie Drew

 The Diocese of Chelmsford is tacking the shortage of affordable housing by building homes on their own disused land, in a bid to lower rates of homelessness.

The Church of England identified a huge need for more affordable housing in a report titled ‘Coming Home: Tackling the Housing Crisis Together.’

The report has spurred the Bishop of Chelmsford into action; they hope to build 300 new homes over the next two years in England alone. 86 homes are also planned for Wales.

The project is in partnership with Housing Justice – a Christian organisation aiding those staying in night shelters across the country.

The Bishop of Chelmsford, Guli Francis-Dehqani, said: “The Diocese of Chelmsford is delighted to support the important work Housing Justice is doing to increase the supply of affordable homes across the country. Jeremy’s passion and commitment in supporting those experiencing homelessness will be invaluable to the Housing Justice team, and I am confident this partnership will help alleviate some of the challenges of the housing crisis at a grass roots level.”

Part-time project manager for Housing Justice, Rev Jeremy Fraser said: ““I am really pleased to be able to work with Housing Justice and the Church of England to find sites that can be developed to help alleviate homelessness. Housing Justice’s ongoing ‘Faith in Affordable Housing’ initiative has already had a number of notable successes working with the Church, local authorities and housing associations to build 86 homes at nine sites across Wales, with a further 125 homes either planned or under construction. In England, we are aiming to facilitate the building of 300 homes in the next two years.”

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