FACLT Past Projects

Housing Needs Survey

In 2021, Fair Housing for Frome, with support from Frome Town Council, Mendip District Council and Frome Area Community Land Trust, commissioned a major town-wide Housing needs Survey which reached 13,000 people. The survey was instigated following feedback from Frome residents, but, like so many projects, was delayed by covid restrictions which also reduced the group’s ability to get out and about and talk directly to residents.

Affordability of property to rent or buy was the largest barrier for most non-homeowners, highlighted by 66% of those surveyed.

What is worrying is that over 25% of respondents felt they needed to move as they can no longer afford the rent where they are currently living. 20% of respondents shared with friends or family for this very reason.

It was apparent to respondents that the Homefinder Somerset waiting list doesn’t provide a solution to their housing needs, and it’s clear to see why. With 661 households, and growing, on the list and 45 of them in gold (high priority) band, there are currently no properties to bid for in Frome.

Nearly half the respondents planned to move within a 5-year period and of these 40% required a 2 bedroom house and 33%, a three bedroom house. Many older respondents expressed a desire to downsize from family-sized homes to smaller dwellings.

For current non-homeowners low income was the main barrier, coupled with a lack of supply of suitable properties to rent or buy.

It is pretty clear that we desperately need genuinely affordable one or two bedroom homes. Both old and young alike are in need of these houses going forward.

FACLT will be pushing developers to provide the type of houses that residents want, not what the developers want – People before Profit has to be the way forward.

Read the full report here.


Fair Homes Project

To address the need for genuinely affordable homes FACLT, in partnership with Selwood Housing Group and Mendip District Council, proposed that up to 30 social rented homes be built on several small sites across the town.

Fair Homes Project, Summer 2021


We hoped to leave a lasting legacy of sustainable, high-quality homes offering fair rents for young people who have grown up in Frome, those with family and friends in the town, carers and the cared-for, and people working and contributing to the community.

We hoped the project would create jobs, improve skills and boost the local economy, strengthening community resilience by enabling local people to continue to live here.

During a public consultation exercise regarding this proposal, some people shared our ambition to build social rented homes in Frome.  Many others objected saying the sites were too precious to be used for this purpose. 

FACLT is a community based organisation and in the face of this objection it was decided to withdraw the plans in their entirety

Land Search

In the Autumn of 2021, following the disappointment of the Fair Homes project, FACLT embarked on a local landmapping exercise to explore where genuinely affordable homes might be built. 

Recognising that there are pockets of land, both within Frome and just over the boundary, where new homes for social rent could be built our CLT advisor, Steve Watson of Middlemarch, suggested FACLT engage in a mapping process to identify all potential sites.  To support this Frome Town Council generously offered a grant and we employed a local person to create an interactive map of the town and surrounding area showing potential locations for new homes – some very small. 

With this information we are able to approach Somerset Council who own some of the land, and also private landowners who have an interest in supporting FACLT’s ambition of providing genuinely affordable home for local people, to encourage real discussion about opportunities to make some positive impact on Frome’s housing crisis.  

Community Assets

In the Autumn of 2022, as one by one the post office and the banks in Frome announced they were closing,  FACLT’s ‘Community Assets Project Group’ was set up.The aim  of the group was to review projects, other than the acquisition of land, that FACLT might be involved in.

WHICH ASSETS and WHAT PURPOSE?   By developing a suitable building FACLT could be the custodian of a community hub in Frome or a post office.

ACTIVE PURSUAL…   The search for assets would be based on collaborative approach with other community organisations to identify need and structure of any future development.

HOW?   By forging links with other community organisations to answer an identified need.

FINANCES…    We would consult with others to develop clear strategies on raising funds.


We approached the NatWest to see whether there could be any opportunity of community ownership of this iconic town centre buildings.  However, at that time FACLT was not in a position to start negotiations on the open market.

We met with FTC officers, to discuss the idea of a Frome hub and a community or public living room –  see Camerados, a support organisation for public living rooms. 

In discussion it became clear that while Frome is very community minded, there are pockets of the Frome area are not well served.  Gaps in available community spaces happen in local areas outside the town centre where there is a need for successful community asset projects to arise from local ‘bottom up’ initiatives.

This advice helped us focus our thoughts on how the FACLT might be involved with local projects.  Rather than trying to initiate community initiatives we should be ready to support them as they arise.

We were glad to have done some exploratory thinking and work and decided the Assets Group would not continue to meet but FACLT would be ready to offer CLT support if and when spaces come up that local communities are interested in developing as community assets.

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