A Christian charity is urging to Church of England to free unused land to make space to build affordable housing.
Housing Justice says the Church has an untapped resource of 105,000 acres of land valued at £2bn.
The charity says it is already in talks with churches to lease their land for five years or more to allow for modular housing or ‘pop-up’ homes to be erected.
Jacob Quagliozzi, deputy director of Housing Justice, says it is not just land, but also unused religious buildings which could be converted into houses, but it is difficult as in England each of the 42 dioceses are in control of their own patch.
He said: “Church land is an untapped resource, and if we are serious about doing something about the housing crisis and still protecting the character of Britain – the green belt and open spaces – it could be looked at to make a positive contribution.
“We estimate small church-led development could make a significant impact on rural housing need, delivering as much as a third of the level of housing required.”