Right: Fair Housing for Frome trustees Vicki Burke, Bill Palmer, Ali Barclay, Pepita Collins and Mel Dalton.
Fair Housing for Frome are excited to announce that they have been awarded a grant of £44,000. The grant, given by the Tudor Trust last month, will last for two years, and enable them to develop their activities in the three areas of preventing homelessness, improving the private rented sector and supporting tiny homes.
Bill Palmer, a founding member of Fair Housing for Frome, said ‘We are so excited to have received this funding which will enable us to take some of the ideas generated through last year’s public meetings and turn them into real action. We are very grateful to the town council for all the support that they have given us in the last 12 months, and to all of the people who voted for us to receive our initial funding through the People’s Budget process, this time last year. The match funding we have recently received through the council’s Community Grant program has enabled us to secure this major grant.’
The question of whether Frome has a housing crisis prompted the group to come together in 2016, and during 2017 organise a series of 9 free meetings that were attended by over 180 local people. All were welcome and encouraged to share their own stories and ideas and to help explore practical and positive solutions. There has been a huge amount of public support, proving how important the subject is to Frome residents.
Ali Barclay, Frome Town Councillor and FHfF member explained ‘Fair Housing for Frome is a brilliant example of how local people can create real change in their community, on the things that matter to them. The group came together in response to the number of housing issues that local people were raising. They identified problems such as homelessness, the increasing gap between benefits and housing costs, and the difficulty of finding a secure affordable home when you’re on a low income. It has been great to be able to hear the stories of so many people through our series of open meetings and to be a part of the creation of this new project.’
Peter Macfadyen, Frome Town Councillor said ‘This is a fantastic example of how the community/council relationship should and can work. The need was identified by the community and shared with us. The people of Frome chose to give them funding through the People’s Budget for a series of events to focus on issues and research. They have had massive attendance at events and continued to fundraise with help from Frome Town Council, including a community grant. We will continue to support and liaise with them into the future’
FHfF public events in the past have focused on self-build, homelessness, landlords and tenants, shared living, and creating new homes. The final meeting of 2017 featured the Edspace, a locally-built tiny home for people who don’t need a lot of space which has been designed and pioneered in Frome by Edventure.
Monday 30th April will see the first Town Hall for an evening event, which will be a ‘call to action’ to launch the next phase of their activities, 2018-2020. More info will be available nearer the time.
We’ll be hearing a lot more from Fair Housing from Frome, so watch this space.
Find out more about FHfF and sign up to their mailing list on their website – www.fairhousingforfrome.org.uk