The Archbishop of Canterbury's Housing Commission has recently published its 126-page report entitled "Coming Home". As Chairman of Keswick Community Housing Trust I was thrilled that the Archbishop’s Commission came all the way to the North of England to visit us, and even more so because our case study is near the beginning of the report. Do read it - not just for our story but for the many gems within its pages.
In the foreword the Archbishops of York and Canterbury spell out their vision, which “is centred on five core values, which are rooted in the Christian story but resonate with us all: good housing should be sustainable, safe, stable, sociable and satisfying. We both firmly believe The Church of England has a major role in realising this vision".
Great stuff, good point well made. The report then quickly defines those five core values: Sustainable: Housing needs to work in harmony with its environment; Safe: home should be a safe place with privacy and security; Stable: housing needs to be affordable; Sociable: homes should be able to offer hospitality to neighbours; and Satisfying: Home should be a place to enjoy. These are all solid values that all Churches, Communities, Housing Associations and everyone in the housing sector should subscribe to and that have been at the heart of what the Quaker Housing Trust has been doing for over fifty years.
I can happily encourage everyone to read the report, there is a tremendous amount of really wise material that can help help communities all over the country to deliver affordable housing at a time when it is needed as much as ever.
For me the theology of providing adequate housing is very simple, I think Jesus embodied it when he said we should love our neighbour as ourselves. I believe it is a basic human right that we should all have a proper place to live and a basic given of social justice that we should work very hard to help people to live and work in our community.
Chair Keswick Community Housing Trust, Trustee of Quaker Housing Trust