Housing

Church Commissioners – in the House of Commons on 10th March 2022.

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Photo of Bob Blackman Bob Blackman Conservative, Harrow East

What steps the Church of England is taking to provide affordable and sustainable housing on its estate.

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Second Church Estates Commissioner, The Second Church Estates Commissioner

We are currently delivering 29,000 new homes, of which around 9,000 will be affordable. These can be small, edge- of-village developments, or major master-planned new communities with, for example, country parks, sporting and community facilities, allotments, schools, shops, healthcare facilities, libraries and cafés.

Photo of Bob Blackman Bob Blackman Conservative, Harrow East

I thank my hon. Friend for that answer. Clearly, there is a desperate need for social rented housing in this country, and the belief is that we need between 90,000 and 100,000 homes a year. The Church has enormous amounts of land. Will he encourage the Church to give up more of its land for social rented accommodation?

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Second Church Estates Commissioner, The Second Church Estates Commissioner

I thank my hon. Friend for that important question, and his passion for this issue is shared by the Archbishop of Canterbury, no less. The Church Commissioners’ land portfolio has the potential to deliver around 30,000 new homes across England, and the Church is determined to play its part in tackling the housing crisis. Developments will have a mixture of market rate and affordable homes, and we are committed to building vibrant communities, learning from best practice in the Duchy of Cornwall and elsewhere. In the village of Shepherdswell in Kent, for example, 10 of the 13 new village homes will be affordable.