The Archbishop of York has pledged to explore the possibility of selling Church of England land at 'less than market value' in a bid to increase the provision of low-cost social housing. Under current legislation, churches are prohibited from disposing of assets such as land and property, at less than its market value. But, speaking at the Bill Sargent memorial lecture recently, Archbishop Dr David Hope pointed to the recently-established Southwark and London Diocesan housing association, as an example of how the problem could be overcome. "The fact is," he said, "it was possible for land and buildings to be conveyed at less than full market value. The Charities Commission considered that a 25% discount was an appropriate benchmark. This could vary from transaction to transaction, but the precident has already been set." Dr Hope said that the Church of England could play a much greater role in the regeneration of communities than it is at present. "It has people. It has properties. It has influence" he said.
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