Roadshow aims to tackle housing crisis
Churches in Gloucester are being urged to tackle the growing problems of homelessness and the housing crisis head on. Parishes across the Diocese of Gloucester are being invited to the Housing Justice Roadshow at Gloucester Cathedral on Monday 29 September.
The day, which is being run by charity Housing Justice in partnership with Rooftop Housing Group, aims to raise awareness of the issue in the county. It is for churches of all denominations and all who are concerned about homelessness.
It coincides with the opening of an innovative £1.7 million regeneration project in Frampton Road, Gloucester. This mixed-use development by Rooftop will provide 14 much-needed affordable homes in a mix of properties available for rent and shared ownership alongside specialist housing provision for young people as well a new vicarage. The land, which was owned by the diocese, was sold on for the project as part of its mission to support the local community and those who are less able to support themselves.
Among those taking part in the day will be the Bishop of Tewkesbury, the Rt Revd Martyn Snow, David Hannon, Development Director at Rooftop Housing Group and Alison Gelder, chief executive of Housing Justice.
Bishop Martyn said: “With the price of houses continuing to rise, it is becoming increasingly difficult for people – particularly first-time buyers – to afford their own home. On top of this, we are seeing a growing number of people sleeping on the streets.
“We have a duty as Christians to protect the vulnerable and to build communities. These workshops will show churches how they can put their faith into action. By making land in the diocese, available to developers who focus on affordable housing, we can be confident that we are helping those on lower incomes to buy their own property.”
The roadshow, which runs from 9.30am to 2.30pm, will include workshops on using church land and property for affordable housing, night shelters, mentoring and befriending, and caring for people who are sleeping rough.
Alison Gelder said: “Recent reports from Crisis and Shelter show that the housing crisis really is serious, across all parts of the country, and things are set to get worse. The implications for frontline services are all too obvious – demand is growing constantly.
“Many churches are rising to the challenge, but others wrestle with the scale of the problem and wonder how they can help – or if one church can make a difference.”
David Hannon, Development Director at Rooftop Housing Group added: “The current housing situation, locally and nationally, means that housing providers such as ourselves have to come up with new ideas in order to maximise every piece of land. Our project in Gloucester is a fantastic example of this and shows how much can be achieved through partnership working and we’re keen to showcase the lessons that we’ve learned.”