Over the next few years, FHfF priorities include:
- ensuring that homeless and insecurely housed people get the housing support that they need
- encouraging the development of community led housing, including tiny homes
- developing a legacy scheme to build up a portfolio of affordably-rented local homes
- campaigning for a fair private rented sector, including launching a lodging scheme
- continuing to raise awareness in the town
During 2020 we will be working in the following areas:
FHfF’s first big event of the year is the Frome Tiny Homes Event on Sunday 22 March 2020 at the Cheese and Grain. The first major UK event of its kind for anyone interested in tiny living, co-housing and self-build, it will include presentations, seminars, discussion, exhibits and films. Our aim is to explore tiny homes as a partial solution to the housing crisis in Frome, particularly for young people and families, and to find out whether there is enough enthusiasm and momentum in the town to establish an initial tiny home community here.
FROME AREA COMMUNITY LAND TRUST (FACLT)
Until the end of March, FHfF will continue to second one of its two development workers to take forward the Frome Area Community Land Trust (FACLT). Last year FACLT successfully raised a grant of £100,000 from Homes England and is now urgently looking for a small plot of land in or around the town. Find our more here.
SUPPORT FOR HOMELESS PEOPLE
Over the winter of 2018-9, FHfF set up the emergency shelter Zero Nights. For the winter of 2019-20, the management of the project has been handed over to our colleagues Elim Connect, based in Wells. FHfF is now carrying out research into the need for housing advice and support in the town, not only for rough sleepers but also for people who are vulnerably housed and at risk of homelessness in the future. FHfF also continues to promote local understanding of homelessness – particularly what to do if you find someone sleeping out – via our homelessness leaflet, website and facebook pages.
LOCAL HOUSING DEVELOPMENTS
FHfF is committed to campaigning for genuinely affordable housing to be a component in all new local housing developments, and to enabling local people to get involved with the planning process. With regard to the proposed Selwood Garden Village development, we have submitted an initial consultation response and will be working with Frome Town Council to create further opportunities for Frome residents to contribute their comments and suggestions.
PRIVATE RENTED SECTOR
In 2019 FHfF set up a virtual Frome Housing Noticeboard on facebook to help local landlords and renters connect with each other, and in 2020 the plan is to supplement this with a physical noticeboard in Frome Library. We’ll grow the FAQ section on our new website and continue to distribute leaflets for renters, landlords and lodgers and run good practice events.
NEW BOARD MEMBERS
In Spring 2020, FHfF will be inviting some additional members onto the board to support the exciting next phase of our development. We’re looking for local residents with good links into the community who have some understanding of insecure housing and homelessness, perhaps through personal experience. We’d also welcome anyone with professional skills in this area, and strategic thinkers who can help develop our vision. It’s also important to us to have as much diversity as possible on the board of directors, in terms of age, gender and experience. This is an unpaid role. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
FHfF is very grateful to all its funders: Tudor Trust, the TDS Foundation, Frome Town Council and Selwood Housing Association. Our major core grant from the Tudor Trust comes to an end on 31 March 2020, and we’re waiting to hear whether a second grant application has been successful. We’ll also seek support for specific projects from Frome Town Council, Somerset Community Foundation and other sources. Last but not least, we’re planning a legacy scheme for anyone who would like to bequeath property that will be used in perpetuity to house local people in need. If you’d like to support the work we do, please contact email@example.com.