Agency welcomes government pledge of more social housing

 Housing Justice has welcomed Chancellor Brown's announcement in Monday's Comprehensive Spending Review that he is to provide funds for 10,000 new social housing units a year by 2007-8. Housing Justice was formed in April 2003 through the merger of the Catholic Housing Aid Society (CHAS) and the Churches National Housing Coalition (CNHC). A spokesperson said the news represented "a substantial increase in the resources available to tackle homelessness and bad housing. "It is a sign of hope for the 97,290 households currently in temporary accommodation and the thousands more who are living in substandard homes or languishing on local authority waiting lists." "Churches have a real role to play here", said Robina Rafferty, Chief Executive of Housing Justice. "As community leaders, churches can help to ensure that new social housing developments in their areas really meet local needs. "With prayer, and the commitment of further resources to the prevention of homelessness through housing advice and tenancy sustainment, the growth in homelessness can be halted. Housing Justice is calling on churches to support the work of those, like its alliance of housing advice centres, working to prevent homelessness by keeping people in their homes. "This is vital work", said Cherry Furber, Alliance Support Manager. "Last year alone our centres helped nearly 20,000 people."

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