Community-led Housing


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House prices in Frome have risen over 25% since 2016 – one of the highest price increases in the UK.1

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In November 2019, the average selling price of a property in Frome was £321,3212

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Between 2007 and 2018, only 24% of new homes built in Frome matched the government definition of ‘affordable.’

1. SomersetLive, Evening Standard Homes & Property

2. Zoopla

The Problem

A high number of people and families living or working in Frome are currently in accommodation that they feel is insecure, unaffordable or otherwise unsuitable for their needs

Many more would like to move here, to be closer to their families, jobs and support networks. Around 480 households on Somerset County Council’s housing register regularly select Frome as their first choice as a place to live, of whom around 400 are existing Frome residents. To help meet this need, Mendip District Council’s Local Plan established ambitious targets for the development of new homes in the town up to 2029. They also agreed a policy whereby a minimum 24% of new housing should be ‘social rented’ and 6% for ‘shared ownership’.

In reality, the new housing delivered has so far fallen far short of the targets. Private developers have been adept at using provisions in the statutory framework to avoid meeting Mendip’s requirements and to maximise their profits. And what of the paltry number of genuinely affordable homes that do get built? These are typically built to much lower standards than those for sale on the open market, and are then made available to applicants throughout Somerset with the highest points.

Our Response

Fair Housing for Frome is working to encourage and enable the type of housing development that’s really needed in the town, particularly by those on low to medium incomes.

We work with Frome Town Council and other partners to monitor proposed developments and campaign for affordability. As an example, here is the FHfF response to the Selwood Garden Village consultation, January 2020

We have publicised and run events on options such as self-build, and are encouraging Mendip to fulfil its statutory obligations by providing real opportunities for people on the self-build register.

We are also exploring the concept and practice of Tiny Homes, establishing an Action Group and working to identify potential sites. And we have spear-headed the setting up of Frome Area Community Land Trust (FACLT), a not-for-profit, community-led organisation that aims to acquire land and build genuinely affordable homes for local people.

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