James Paul Lusk on Housing, Politics and Community
paul at lusk.org.uk
Foxes Have Holes: a Christian response to the housing crisis
Foxes Have Holes includes my essay Beyond Welfare Housing (left) and chapters by Rt Rev David Walker (Bishop of Manchester), Sean Gardiner, Chris Horton, Helen Roe, Helen Woolley, Raymond Young and Andrew Francis who co-edits the collection with Trisha Dale. Foxes Have Holes is published by Ekklesia with a launch event at Manchester Cathedral on 5th April 2016.
The Jesus Candidate: political religion in a secular age
Does equality 'marginalise Christians'? My new book explores the roots of this question in the politics of the US Religious Right and its central idea that all law is religious. What merit is there in well-publicised British legal cases said to prove discrimation against believers? Does the fall of the Christian State mean the failure of Christianity? How might Christians assess liberal, secular pluralism? The Jesus Candidate is published by Ekklesia later in 2016.
Resources for community empowerment
Managing in a tenant controlled housing organisation: governance and financial control (produced for the National Federation of Tenant Management Organisations)
Model code of governance for a TMO (produced for NFTMO and adapaed for Greengate Housing Co-op)
Performance information for tenant scrutiny (produced for Rachel Vernelle Training and the National Communities Resource Centre, Trafford Hall)
'Public discussion of housing is shot through with propaganda, wilful ignorance and the subordination of evidence to political myth. Truth can free us from myth, but only if we can first acknowledge the stake which most of us (including this writer and the majority of voters) have in its construction. This may be painful but, like neglectful and selfish parents everywhere, we owe the younger generation an explanation of the mess we are leaving them to live with ...
'The housing crisis is first and foremost one of distribution. It arises from post-war welfare housing policies which determined that ‘social rights’ would endow generations with property rights extending through life and beyond. Now, in a sample set of ten households, three are home owners paying nothing; another three are owners paying relatively little compared with income and property value; another three have their housing costs met partly or wholly by the state through benefit and rent regulation; and one pays the full market rent. That last one is likely to be a young worker in a middle income bracket. Those with free or cheap housing consume more than they need. In the long transition to post-welfare housing, supply pressure is displaced especially onto market rent payers. Their number will grow.'
From: Beyond Welfare Housing, in Foxes Have Holes