By Ben Grundy
The Uniting Church’s social housing ministry is set to be supported with greater resourcing and expertise in an ambitious plan to strategically coordinate social housing projects from throughout the synod.
In partnership with a specialist advisory team, the Church will work towards a considered long-term approach for supporting communities most in need of social housing.
The Standing Committee has requested the Property Board to appoint the specialist advisory group to develop the Synod-wide social housing strategy.
The initial stage of the project will gain a better understanding of what social housing is currently offered throughout the Church. The project team hopes to speak with congregations that have underutilised property and wish to register interest in future social housing projects.
The Social Housing Strategy project ultimately aims to discern exactly how the Church should continue to enhance its social housing provision over the next decade.
General Secretary Rev Dr Mark Lawrence said the growing need for social housing presents a potentially significant mission response for the Uniting Church.
“Given the diverse range of Church property, as well as existing expertise in social housing, the UCA is well placed to provide leadership in the provision of equitable social housing,” he said.
Dr Lawrence said a more strategic approach would enable the Church to provide housing security for vulnerable individuals and families, while also ensuring the most effective use of Church properties.
“By drawing on our own varied experience and specialist external expertise, the Church will be able to strategically respond to emerging and future community needs.”
The advisory team will submit a comprehensive business case to the Property Board and Synod Standing Committee in July 2016.
A broad range of UCA groups, including presbyteries, congregations and agencies, is invited to share their experience and interest in providing social housing.
For more information please contact Quintin Mansell in Property Services on 03 9251 5940 or Quintin.Mansell@victas.uca.org.au