THE EDSPACE – A COST-EFFECTIVE RESPONSE TO THE HOUSING CRISIS IN FROME
On Monday 20th November, a packed house of over 80 people celebrated the end of Fair Housing for Frome’s one-year campaign to raise awareness of and find solutions to the housing crisis in the town.
The event was called ‘What If?’ and looked at the potential of Tiny Homes as a way of addressing the shortage of affordable homes in Frome, particularly for young people. The eye-catching centerpiece of the evening was an actual tiny home, an ‘EdSpace,’ which had been specially built over three weeks and assembled inside Rook Lane Chapel in just 4 hours by Stuart Dalton and team of local company Chisel & Grain.
The EdSpace has been developed by Edventure, Frome’s school for social enterprise. Edventure Director Johannes Mueller explained how this simple, elegant and adaptable living space is a perfect option for anyone who’d like to take in a lodger or have extra space for visiting family and friends. A 4.8m x 2.4m
EdSpace costs around £10,000 when fully installed and equipped in your garden or courtyard, so at a rent of £250 pcm would pay for itself within 3 years. The architect Graham Burgess added that the EdSpace flatpack is designed to fit through the door of a Frome house and just small enough to avoid planning regulations. Stuart pointed out that as demand increases, it will create jobs and apprenticeships for local people.
During the break, the crowd had the opportunity to explore the EdSpace for themselves, as well as to watch an inspiring presentation about other tiny homes around the world put together by Miranda Sipe. This was followed by a discussion about how we can all help the tiny home movement take root in Frome. Suggestions included: Can a site be identified suitable for a cluster of EdSpaces, such as a ‘community woodlands’ space – or even on Saxonvale? Could an investment scheme be set up for people who wanted to invest in EdSpaces but can’t house one themselves? Mendip Town Council have a statutory responsibility to support self-build projects by local people – so how can we get them interested and involved?
The evening ended with heartfelt thanks to all the 250 or so people who’ve supported the series of nine events organized during 2017 by Fair Housing for Frome, and to Frome Town Council who provided the funding. A final event is being planned for Spring 2018 to share learnings and discuss next steps. To get an invitation to this event, visit www.fairhousingforfrome.org.uk. For more information about EdSpace visit www.edspaceliving.