From houses to homes
It is impossible to work for social justice in cities today without addressing the issue of housing. What will happen if the poorest residents of our cities are priced out of their neighbourhoods by soaring housing costs?
The Centre for Theology and Community has just published a new report 'From Houses to Homes - faith, power and the housing crisis' on the housing crisis in London which helps inform about the issues involved.
The report explains why the Church has a vital role to play in addressing the housing crisis:
It is a theological imperative. Land and housing are central themes in both scripture and in Catholic Social Teaching.
The Church is well-placed to make a difference, because it has a presence in every neighbourhood - both in its physical buildings and in the ‘living temples’ of its worshipping communities.
It has a threefold structure:
voices of those at the sharp end of London’s housing crisis.
the place of land and housing in Christian theology.
practical responses local churches can make - some of which are specific to this time and place, others of which have a much wider applicability.
A central theme in all three sections is the impact of the housing crisis on human relationships. The Biblical vision is of a physical world given to us that we might grow in love of God and neighbour - a world in which transactions are at the service of relationships, and which finds its consummation in the “new Jerusalem” where God makes his home among us for ever (Revelation 21.1-4). This report shows what that might mean for housing policy today, so that our earthly city can reflect something more of our eternal home.
Download the report here
Geoff Knott, 12/04/2016