Housing Justice

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Funding at a glance

Programme: Nurturing Ideas to Change the Housing System
Amount: £320,291 grant
Approved: 2022
Timescale: Three years
Status: Funding in progress
Phase: Decent Affordable Homes Phase Three

Exploring how surplus land can be used to create decent and genuinely affordable housing in Wales.

Why we are funding this project

To implement a sustainable and effective 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.

Strategic purpose

Accessing land for the delivery of genuinely affordable housing for people in Wales.

Project description

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.

Accessing low-cost land is one of the most significant barriers in creating affordable housing. 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.

Funded by the Nationwide Foundation since 2018, 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.

At the time of funding, the project has a pipeline of 364 homes in 20 of Wales’ 22 local authority areas. This is recognised as one of the country’s largest pipelines.

This funding will enable the project to go further in creating a lasting way in which surplus land can be unlocked for genuinely affordable housing. Under a new model, housing associations looking for land on which to build homes will be able to sign up to a partnership with Housing Justice. The charity will then work with faith organisations to match suitable surplus land, facilitate the sale process and help both parties with legal guidance. It will aim to create sustainable strategic partnerships between faith groups and housing associations, paving the way for them to work effectively together in the future.

The expected result will be genuinely affordable homes for people in need, as housing associations can build homes at lower cost and faith groups know that the land they sell will be used to help people to have a home they can afford. This is a new model for releasing land for social good.

Housing Justice


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