ZERO NIGHTS UPDATE
BIG THANKS to everyone who helped get the Zero Nights scheme underway at the Town Hall on 2nd January. Simply seeing the face of the first homeless person to use the shower during the evening session made all the months of preparation worthwhile. Lots of people are now asking how they can help. We have plenty of clothes and food at the moment, but still need new men’s underwear and thermals. The most practical approach is for our volunteers to buy this as and when needed, so please consider donating to our crowdfunder at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/alison-barclay-2?utm_term=k7NY8QZ7Z.
If you’d like to volunteer at the shelter yourself you’ll need to complete a four-hour training session, so please send your details to Sioux@fairhousingforfrome.org.uk. Last but not least, don’t forget to join our mailing list via this website to keep in touch with Zero Nights and other future plans to support homeless and insecurely housed people in Frome.
NEW! FROME LANDLORDS ASSOCIATION now underway
Frome Landlords Association held its inaugural event at Frome Town Hall on 21st January with a lively discussion about ‘What does it take to be a good landlord?‘ The answer was: not just fair rent levels, but also building relationships with your tenants, encouraging communication, and respecting the fact that it’s not just a property but a home.
The new Association has a variety of aims, which include enabling Frome landlords to share problems and solutions, to offer a high quality service, and to explore how landlords can be a force for good in the town. See FROME LANDLORDS ASSOCIATION Objectives Jan 2019
The upcoming programme of events Jan – June 2019 includes a training evening on how to manage the terms of a tenancy and any rent arrears, and a chance to talk about regulation with the team leader of Mendip’s Private Sector Housing Team, as well as informal opportunities to meet other landlords, share tips and experiences, and explore how to develop and grow the Association. For the full listings: FROME LANDLORDS ASSOCIATION Programme Jan to June 2019
HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS – FROME’S ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM
Our end-of-year event at Frome Town Hall on 3rd December looked at three areas of work that FHfF has been focusing on this year: homelessness, the shortage of genuinely affordable housing in the new developments going up around the town, and working with tenants and landlords to make the private rented sector more fair and accessible. Warm thanks to everyone who came along, and to the many others who have given input and support.
During 2018, FHfF made the shift from being an unincorporated group of concerned local people into a registered Community Interest Company; successfully raised funds from Frome Town Council, the Tudor Trust and the Tenancy Deposit Scheme Charitable Foundation; and now has four part-time workers working with volunteers to deliver a range of projects designed to understand, tackle and alleviate the housing crisis in our town.
One current project is a ‘Zero Nights’ scheme to provide much-needed food and shelter for homeless people when the temperature drops below zero, including a special evening facility at Frome Town Hall which will be open to anyone who wants to come in from the cold. Over forty volunteers have come forward to run the shelter, and we’re now looking to raise £3000 to help cover costs: please support our crowdfunding appeal on:
Fair Housing for Frome (FHfF) is a grassroots organisation that began in November 2015 when a group of local people met to discuss the housing crisis in our town. Its objective is to support the provision of decent, secure, affordable and accessible accommodation in Frome for local people on low incomes who are being squeezed out by rising prices, stagnating wages and profit-led developments and practices. FHfF wants to be an example of how local volunteer-led activism can create a positive can-do attitude and enable a rural town to maintain a diverse and vibrant community despite local and national socio-economic pressures.
Based on extensive consultation with local people and with organisations already working in this and related areas, FHfF has developed a 12-point plan of achievable goals (see below). To join in our discussions and activities, please sign up to our mailings, visit our public forum and visit our facebook page.
OUR PLAN FOR 2018-2020 IS IN THREE SECTIONS:
- Publicise the services that already exist and how to access them
- Identify and fill gaps eg a housing advocate scheme for families at risk
- Campaign for affordable units within new housing developments
- Continue raising awareness and developing housing literacy in the town
Enhancing the private rented sector
- Establish a Fair Landlords club
- Set up and support a tenants association
- Promote lodging, including a Homeshare and SharedLives scheme
- Explore how to improve practice among local letting agents
Supporting tiny homes and other people-centred solutions
- Carry out a Citizens Land Audit to identify short-term and long-term sites
- Secure support from the three tiers of local government (Somerset, Mendip, Frome)
- Showcase good practice eg by hosting a tiny homes summit
- Set up a Community Land Trust and explore funding possibilities eg a local investment scheme
How to get involved :
- Sign up to our mailing list
- Join the conversation on Social Media
- Join more detailed discussions in our forum