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Selwood Housing

New housing partnership plans to tackle social homes shortage in Frome

Frome high street Bath Road

A new partnership aims to provide more social housing provision in Frome – and leave a lasting legacy of high-quality homes offering fair rents for residents in the town.

Frome Area Community Land Trust (FACLT), Selwood Housing Group (a not-for-profit housing association), and Mendip District Council have joined forces to address and deliver much-needed homes for local people.

Called the Fair Homes Project, the partnership believes ‘everyone deserves a home’ and has identified a number of potential plots on Mendip District Council land suitable for the plans.

Up to 30 homes could be delivered across several sites, for those most in housing need, including 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.

Consultation is taking place with residents neighbouring the locations ear-marked for possible development, and engagement with Frome Town Council and local parish councillors has begun. Further face-to-face consultations on each proposed plot are planned post-COVID restrictions. Details will be released shortly.

A Fair Homes Project website has also been launched providing full details and location maps, and there’s an area where people can feedback their comments. The online consultation ends on June 11th, 2021.

Those seeking social housing provision are particularly encouraged to visit the new website, as they will find details on how to register their interest online.

Chair of FACLT, Roger Saunders, said: “We know that there are at least 500 households in Frome who badly need a secure, affordable home – and the number is rising as the pandemic takes its toll. The Fair Homes Project can be a first step in seriously addressing this need.

Frome Area Community Land Trust will work with our partners to create high quality, social rented homes of which our community can be proud.

Paul Walsh, Group development director at Selwood Housing, said the organisation was excited by the new partnership and hoped it would bring more social housing to Frome for local people in housing need, including families and key workers.

He added:

Coronavirus has shone a light on the importance of a safe, secure home and the need for social housing has never been greater. Our plans are to build well-designed homes, with reduced carbon emissions and tree planting to enhance the natural environment.

“We are keen to hear the views of local residents and the community to help shape our plans.”

Leader of Mendip District Council, Cllr Ros Wyke, said: “Mendip is making a firm commitment to the people of Frome to provide social housing for those most in need.

“We recognise the importance of providing these much wanted, much-needed family homes. We know the massive impact a home has on individuals, families and the community. The benefits are real – and will be felt for generations to come.”

Cllr Wyke concluded:

Having a high-quality, secure and affordable place to live is something many of us take for granted. To others, it’s a dream. This Council, working with partners and the community, plans to make it a reality.

Subject to consultation and planning consent, it’s hoped the social housing proposed in the Fair Homes Project can be delivered within the next two years.

In a separate initiative, an independent Housing Needs Survey will also be online for 3 weeks from June 7th, 2021.

The survey will collect vital information about those in housing need including those who have not signed up to Homefinder Somerset. Please take the time to complete the survey as it will help inform future planning and give a realistic view of what housing difficulties residents of Frome are currently having.

You’ll find the link on the Fair Homes Project website.