18 Mar 2016

Housing and Planning

Bristol Homes Board – a new housing partnership for Bristol

As part of Bristol City Council’s ongoing work to tackle housing issues in the city a new partnership board has been created.

The Bristol Homes Board will bring together representatives from different areas of the housing sector, and will be co-chaired by Mayor George Ferguson.

The Bristol Homes Board will be responsible for implementing the city’s new housing strategy, ‘More Than a Roof’ that was published in February.

The strategy sets out plans to address housing related issues over the next five years, and acknowledges that homes are more than just four walls and a roof.

A good quality home, at a cost the household can afford, should enable people to achieve a high quality of life and create the opportunity for all to thrive in mixed communities of their choice.

However to achieve this ambition, Bristol will need to tackle a number of housing related issues over the next five years. 

There is an historic shortage of affordable housing, made worse by Bristol’s growing popularity. Addressing this is at the heart of the new strategy.

George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol, said: “Housing issues are complex. Resolving them requires input from many partners, both public and private.

“New policy and legislative changes proposed by the Government do present a very real challenge to both delivery of services and to Bristol’s residents over the next five years, and we have to deliver on our commitment to provide new and affordable homes.  The Devolution deal announced in the Budget, if ratified by the four West of England Councils will undoubtedly help.

“I look forward to the first meeting of this board, so we can start to face these challenges head on.”      

 The first board meeting will take place at the start of April with representatives from a number of sectors including finance, the private rented sector, housing developers and housing associations.   

Early priorities for the board include developing an action plan, which will take forward actions from the Bristol Housing Strategy and the Mayor’s Homes Commission.

The board aims to build on recent initiatives to help tackle the housing crisis in the city. These include:

  • The Council’s budget announcement of a £9m investment in a housing development projects aimed at providing affordable and private homes across the city
  • A major new £50m housing development at Hengrove Park, with partners Kier. The proposal, which is subject to public consultation and planning consent, is for about 259 homes, 30% of which will be affordable.
  • A new housing development planned for Southmead set to lead the way in sustainable living in Bristol, in partnership with housing association United Communities and Kevin McCloud's development company HAB Housing;
  • £5million investment into a fund that will purchase 80 properties to house those who have been homeless or are at risk of homelessness;
  • The creation of a Rough Sleeping Task group and additional beds for rough sleepers.

The previous housing partnership, Homes4Bristol was disbanded in January after an independent review recommended making changes to the current arrangements.