Do we need a conversation about housing vs green spaces?

It’s not an either-or situation; developments can provide both homes and green spaces. We must try to address the needs of those living in inadequate, poor-quality homes, paying increasing rent, and lacking security for their families, while continuing to provide green space and habitats for nature.

What is affordable housing?

If there was ever a word that seemed like a goalpost that just won’t stay still, particularly right now, it’s ‘affordable’. What might be affordable to one person is out of reach for another but even more fluid than that, you might not be able to afford something that you could this time last year, …

A Review of Hashi Mohamed’s recently published book ‘A Home of One’s Own’

Review by Chris James Last evening, I finished reading ‘A Home of One’s Own’ by Hashi Mohamed and completing the read motivated me to write this review. The book addresses the rather depressing housing crisis that is affecting the country, as it has done for several decades – a crisis that has worsened in recent …

CLTs in Funding Limbo

Polly Lamb looks at how our local CLT enabler hub Middlemarch and nearby CLT Marshfield are affected by the government’s silence on funding for community led housing. All eyes are now on the government to see if the Community Housing Fund (CHF) will be reinstated, now that the new cabinet has formed. All community-led housing …

Reversing the decline of social housing

The term ​“affordable housing” to most people is about as trustworthy as ​“the cake never left the Tupperware box”. Affordable houses have been springing up across England at a rate to match public apologies. But when a new development rolls into any town, most people who see the shiny billboard know the affordable homes promised will be …

The Return of Right to Buy

It is fair to say that the Right to Buy scheme for council tenants introduced under the Thatcher government where so many tenants snapped up their homes at a vastly reduced cost has had serious implications on housing stock. The social housing stock was diminished and never fully replaced despite the indication that it would be. No one can blame those who aspired to owning their own home when they bought their house, sadly many eventually fell into the hands of private landlords or were just sold on for profit. Almost all in the housing industry acknowledge the detrimental effect of removing so many homes from the country’s stock of low cost rental housing. 

FACLT Strategy Review 2022

Last summer FACLT were partners in a project to build on small areas of green space in Frome.  Following consultation with local residents we decided that the project wasn’t viable. We listened and learned but are still left with the ongoing problem of securing land for the provision of new homes to be made available at social rent for local people.  In Frome this has become increasingly challenging. The popularity of our town makes it attractive to private developers who buy up the land at high prices and build homes that are neither affordable nor suitable for those who are in need.

A new Town Council

The local elections are done and Frome continues to have a fully independent Town Council with all 17 seats being taken by the Independents for Frome group. There will be little or no time for the newly elected councillors to relax and celebrate their win as the issues facing the town are significant as they are for the country as a whole. Locally at a town level there are obvious limits to what a small town or parish council can do but past experience shows us that our own town council often punch above their weight and get some extraordinary things done.  FACLT spoke with some of the new councillors, two of whom were re-elected and two elected for the first time. The housing crisis was high on their agendas.

New Housing and Carbon Footprint

Frome, like most towns in the UK, has a serious affordable housing crisis. Is it possible to meet this challenge while building to low or zero carbon standards? Reports from COP26 and the IPCC, over 2021-22, suggest we cannot afford not to. According to the IPCC, Greenhouse gas emissions must peak by 2025 and should almost be halved by the end of the decade to give the world a chance of limiting future heating to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. Any increase above 1.5C is likely to have catastrophic consequences for the stability of our climate.