FACLT recognises that our research must involve a range of other organisations who have a housing role in Frome. We welcome a partnership approach to carrying out this research, particularly with Frome Town Council.

Our Current Research Focus


FACLT has recently merged with Fair Housing for Frome (FHfF). We are a not-for-profit organisation, with a board of voluntary directors elected by our members. Our core aim is to ensure that all sections of our community have access to decent homes that meet their needs. We have been working over the past seven years to tackle what we see as a serious housing crisis in the town, with spiralling private sector rents and house prices, and a desperate lack of genuinely affordable homes for many local people.

A key lesson from the work of FHfF and FACLT over the past seven years has been that making really significant changes to housing conditions through local, community effort alone is extremely difficult. We suspect that many Frome Town councillors have felt the same. This is because the housing crisis has been created and maintained by national policies and legislation, and by economic conditions. We have had some positive impacts but many disappointments. 

We are suggesting, therefore, that we and partners should now take a hard look at 

  • the nature and scale of the housing crisis in Frome at the present time, across all tenures and all sections of the community 
  • what’s available at the moment, in terms of housing-related services and interventions
  • what is actually needed to alleviate and combat the housing crisis
  • which interventions are feasible and likely to have the greatest positive impact at the local and community level.

The key aim of this research is to provide Frome Town Council, FACLT and other CVS and statutory organisations with the information we need to be able to significantly improve housing in the town.

In order to achieve this key aim, we propose a number of secondary objectives:

  • to establish a base-line of evidence about the current housing situation in Frome across all tenures
  • to identify the key pressure-points and needs experienced by residents
  • to propose, and where possible quantify, the interventions and strategies required to address housing needs, particularly the most acute
  • to identify which agencies (statutory, voluntary etc) have the power and responsibility to address which needs
  • to propose a plan of action for FTC, FACLT and other partners.

This research will need to encompass all the housing tenures of all Frome residents – social housing (housing associations); private rented; owner-occupation (inc. shared ownership); and those with no tenure (homeless, insecure, adults living with parents etc).

Social Housing

  • Which housing associations (HAs) currently own housing in Frome and how many?
  • What arrangements do they have to manage tenants and buildings?
  • Where does their funding come from and what are the key financial and legislative pressures on HAs at the moment?
  • Which HAs are continuing to build in new developments?
  • Which tenants associations are active and where?
  • What evidence is there of tenants’ satisfaction with housing services?
  • Numbers and types of social housing units?
  • Numbers of empty properties?
  • Turnover of properties?
  • How many go on to buy? (under Right to Buy or open market)
  • Average rent levels? (different types of tenancy – affordable, social rent etc?)
  • How many social housing tenants in Frome are currently inadequately housed?

Private Rental

  • How many homes are privately rented?
  • What’s the impact of Airbnb on rental properties?
  • What are the average rent levels?
  • What’s the relationship of income to rents?
  • What are the key problems of private rental in Frome?
  • What practical advice and support is available in Frome?
  • What’s the impact of current housing policy and legislation on tenants e.g. no fault evictions?
  • What do lettings agencies/tenants/landlords feel the problems are and possible solutions?

Owner occupiers

  • What percentages of their incomes are owner-occupiers having to pay towards their housing costs?
  • How many owner-occupiers are having their homes re-possessed?
  • What housing challenges are faced by owner-occupiers?
  • How successful has shared ownership been for residents?
  • What is known about the number of second homes in Frome?


  • What agencies support street homeless – practical support/advice?
  • Who’s most at risk of homelessness – what support is there?
  • What drug and alcohol support is in Frome?
  • What are the numbers of people being housed in Bed and Breakfast in Frome?
  • What evidence is there of ‘hidden’ homelessness (e.g. sofa-surfing)?

New developments

  • What’s been the experience of new developments in Frome over the last 10 years?
  • Quality
  • Green space
  • Connection with town
  • How many of the new developments have built 30% affordable housing and of these what’s the percentage of social housing?
  • What % of homes have been for shared ownership?
  • What’s in the pipeline re development?
  • What’s the level of influence of FTC and of Somerset CC?
  • Is town expansion necessary in order to meet the needs of local people for new housing?
  • What infrastructure improvements would be required to support more development?

Need for affordable housing

  • What evidence does Homefinder Somerset provide of the need for affordable housing in Frome?
  • How well is Homefinder working for those seeking affordable homes?
  • How many people/families are likely to be in housing need but not registered?
  • How many people/families with local connections are (likely to be) moving away from Frome because of unaffordable/unavailable housing?

Other issues

  • Refugees – What’s the current situation with housing refugees?
  • Which CVS organisations have a role in relation to housing and what are their experiences and views of what needs to happen? (e.g. Fair Frome/Active and in Touch/Purple Elephant…)
  • What opportunities are there for older people to ‘right-size’? 
  • What housing is there in Frome specially designed (and managed) for older people?
  • What other housing is available for people needing support in order to live independently?
  • What evidence is there of overcrowding / under-occupation across tenures?
  • What evidence is there of empty homes?
  • What housing support is available for people with disabilities?

If you can help us to answer any of these questions, or if you would like to help us carry out this research please contact us.

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