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Justin Welby calls for reform as UK housing crisis 'blights lives' of 'millions'

by Heather Preston

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said the UK has a "moral responsiblity" to fix the housing crisis, arguing that expensive, temporary and unhealthy housing options are “blighting the lives and futures of millions.”

The Most Rev Justin Welby has called for a more long-term solution to the housing crisis and backed a new report advocating for safe homes across England.

The Homes for All report was launched in the House of Lords yesterday and has called for an independent body on housing to scrutinise and transform housing and housing policy.

Speaking to Premier Christian News, housing reform researcher Jonathan Tame said change is desperately needed:

“The crisis really is affecting everybody, whether you're renting property, you're a homeowner or you want to get onto the housing market, if you need social housing, if you need specialist housing, if you're a refugee coming to Britain, almost every category has a real deficit in available, affordable, decent safe housing."

The report follows the Archbishop of Canterbury's housing, church and community report Coming Home, which was issued three years ago and recommends a long term, cross party national housing strategy.

Tame explains why a long-term view is important: “This housing crisis has taken decades to make, and it will take decades to be unwound. The report is saying 25 years from now, we can transform our housing system if we all pull in the same direction with a coherent strategy.

“If it's got cross party support, so that whatever government's in power in the next 25 years, that they will stick to this same vision and plan.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury said: "Everyone should have a home that is comfortable and safe, and in a thriving community where they can flourish.

"But for many people in England, home means something very different. It is somewhere that is often expensive or temporary, insecure or unhealthy.

"These problems are blighting the lives and futures of millions of people, and we all have a moral responsibility to put it right.

"We must end the short-termism that is having a corrosive effect on our society and our economy."


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