Staff from housing associations across Merseyside are walking, running and cycling as part of the nationwide campaign to end the housing crisis within a generation.
From Land's End to Berwick-upon-Tweed, the Relay to the Rally sees buses, bikes, running shoes and walking boots hit the road to Westminster in time for the Homes for Britain rally on 17 March.
On Wednesday 11 March, staff from a range of North West housing associations will embark upon a gruelling two day, 60 mile walk/run/cycle across the region.
The first day sees Liverpool Housing Trust, Halton Housing Trust, Riverside, Liverpool Mutual Homes, South Liverpool Homes, Knowsley Housing Trust, Helena Housing, One Vision Housing, Plus Dane, Pierhead Housing and Golden Gates Housing Trust walking/running 21 miles from the Cunard Building in Liverpool to Warrington via Knowsley and St Helens.
The next day staff from Affinity Sutton and Weaver Vale will join the troops to continue the 30 mile walk/run from Runcorn to Congleton before passing the baton on to colleagues to continue the relay to London.
Also on Wednesday 11 March, staff will cycle 16 miles from Southport Town Hall to Bootle and the next day will continue the 60 miles to Congleton before passing the baton on to a team of cyclists who will then continue down to London.
Homes for Britain - a national alliance of housing providers, professional bodies and charities - is campaigning for the next government to come up with a long-term plan in its first year of office to tackle the housing crisis within a generation.
Across the UK, housing association staff, residents and members of the public are making their way to the Homes for Britain rally. Taking place in the heart of Westminster, thousands of people will come together for the biggest housing rally in a generation.
Homes for Britain’s call comes at a time when housing demand vastly outstrips supply at both a national and local level. The Home Truths report shows that over the next 20 years in the North West alone, there will be 360,000 new families needing a home, but at current building rates, more than half (over 195,000) will have nowhere to live. Meanwhile, some areas are in desperate need of regeneration and jobs, and having the right types of homes in the right places can play a vital role in sparking new life into these communities.
Katie Teasdale, External Affairs Manager at the National Housing Federation said, “We are delighted housing associations across the North West are backing Homes for Britain. By taking the housing crisis to the heart of Westminster, these housing associations are highlighting the need to end the housing crisis within a generation.
“The next Government needs to commit to a long-term plan – one that sets out how everyone can have access to the home they need at a price they can afford. We want people from all walks of life to add their voice, so get involved - write to local politicians, tell your friends and family, and tweet us using #HomesForBritain.”
Carol Matthews, chief executive at Riverside said, “We are joining forces with organisations from every corner of the housing world who believe everyone has a right to a decent affordable home to call their own.
“We stand united to call on all political parties to take bold action and end the housing crisis within a generation.”