Churches Housing is now engaging in two longer-term research projects which seek to inform how to build flourishing communities. If your organisation is interested in participating in any of these projects then we would love to talk with you.
Building Flourishing Cities: Faith-based engagement in Vertical Villages and the path to a better quality of City Life (A Salvation Army grant and locally led research from the Epping-Ryde-Macquarie Park precincts)
The input of people of faith into city and social developments has never been more urgent.
The world is experiencing rapid urbanisation with over half the population currently living in
an urban context.
This trend is set to rise steeply in the next 30 years, and by 2050 it is expected that over two-thirds of the global population will live in cities.
In Sydney, our current population stands at just over 5 million people, but this is anticipated to increase to 6 million in just 10 years.
Both globally and locally there are both enormous challenges, and tremendous opportunities for urban environments. With densifying centres and inner rings, and growing outer suburban rings, understanding and serving urban environments is a significant exercise for all faith communities.
Important question must be asked from a faith perspective:
What will be the quality of life for those living in our growing cities?
How will city dwellers in high-density towers engage in healthy spirituality and life giving
Where will urbanites gather to build meaningful connections with their neighbours?
What can be done to support and nurture sustainable communities in these vertical villages?
Faith-based engagement through housing: examining new forms of community development, service provision and place-making (An ARC Linkage grant proposal led by Macquarie University)
This project will bring together a well-matched set of industry, community and academic partners to investigate how faith-based for-purpose organisations active in the fields of social and affordable housing negotiate the rapidly changing housing environment in NSW to contribute to practices and outcomes that address entrenched patterns of housing stress, social disadvantage and poverty in NSW.
Faith-based for-purpose organisations play important roles in delivering current housing and welfare policy, which prioritises creation of communities that include a mix of social, affordable and market units in medium and high-density developments, often led by private developers and secured through public tender processes.
Faith-based groups are simultaneously charged with addressing the challenges of concentrated social and economic disadvantage characteristic of social housing locations. They increasingly deliver services and support once provided by the state.
Those roles are under-researched and poorly understood by many in the field.
Importantly, as the management of social housing is transitioned to the community housing sector, partnerships between community housing providers and faith-based organisations are becoming more important in managing communities and providing the required social, cultural and economic support.
We are interested in the diverse ways that housing (public, community and affordable) has been mobilised by faith-based organisations (often in partnership with housing providers) as a means of addressing social and economic disadvantage and this research will increase both understanding and efficacy in delivering outcomes that address the key issues.