Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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UNLEASH conference

May 21 2009
Merger of Housing Justice and UNLEASH is a step forward for homeless and badly housed Londoners Over 100 people attended the official merger of Housing Justice and UNLEASH at a conference held on 23rd May. The conference was opened by Housing Justice chief executive Robina Rafferty, who that day also announced her retirement. In her opening speech, Rafferty said: "Our merger is a very welcome step forward for homeless and badly housed Londoners, whom we hope will benefit from both better services in church-based projects and a stronger campaigning voice." Other speeches were given by Centrepoint co-founder and former Chair of UNLEASH, Reverend Ken Leech; Reverend Nick Holtam, of St Martin's-in-the-Fields; and Maff Potts, of the Department for Communities and Local Government (formerly in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister). Reverend Leech spoke broadly about improving the role of the church in fighting homelessness, saying: "The gulf between rich and poor has grown under New Labour. The fact that the church's values are in fundamental conflict with those of governments must be recovered, recognised and reaffirmed." The day also saw a series of speed seminars, 20-minute slots in which various organisations spoke to small audiences about their work. Organisations included Emmaus House, The Simon Community, and CHAS Central London, as well as the Empty Homes Agency, Green Pastures and Streetwise Opera.