Exploring how surplus church land can be used to create decent and genuinely affordable housing in Wales.
Why we are funding this project
To create a sustainable and replicable model of working with faith organisations to facilitate the disposal of surplus land for the creation of new genuinely affordable housing for people in Wales.
To improve understanding of the ideas that have potential to create change.
Faith in Affordable Housing is a project run by Housing Justice Cymru to meet the need for land for housing and as a result has contributed to the delivery of affordable homes for rent for people in South Wales.
Faith in Affordable Housing facilitates partnership working between churches, housing associations, local authorities and third sector organisations, acting as an ‘honest broker’ in negotiations to unlock and encourage the sale of surplus church land for development. It also provides support and advice to churches on the development process and charity law, and acts as an advocate on their behalf to overcome barriers to releasing land.
In Wales, there are currently 4,500 church buildings, with approximately 200 closing each year and more closures forecast. In addition, many churches own other plots of land in both urban and rural areas. Church denominations are seeking a solution for land disposal that reflects their aims as Christian organisations to help the community.
Using funding from the Nationwide Foundation, Housing Justice Cymru will:
- Continue to take advantage of the favourable environment and expand the project from its current South Wales focus to across Wales.
- Use the learning and evidence from the work to embed the relationships and knowledge between stakeholders to the extent that partnership working can happen without Faith in Affordable Housing needing to facilitate or lead it.
- Explore and encourage innovative ways in which churches and local communities can be part of the solution to housing need.