Bricks and Mortar

It’s been a busy few weeks for housing in Bristol. This week has already had a lot going on.

On Monday it was the traditional hard hat and high viz on site photo-opp. My cabinet lead for Homes (Paul Smith) and I were at Blackberry Hill where 346 homes are being built. 100 affordable, 40% of sales to first time buyers. That’s made all the more remarkable by the fact that when planning permission was originally applied for, there were no affordable homes included.

On Tuesday, United Housing’s Oona Goldsworthy and I were interviewed by BBC Home Affairs Correspondent Mark Easton for a Ten O’Clock News item. The item focussed on how inflated land values were inhibiting the delivery of affordable homes, something we are highlighting to Government though the Core Cities group.

On Wednesday I appeared on BBC2’s Politics Live alongside Housing Minister Kit Malthouse MP. During the show he accepted my invitation to attend a Core Cities leaders meeting to get clarity on what we need from government to enable us to deliver affordable homes.

From there I went straight to the National Housing Federation Housing Summit to speak on a panel on the challenge of “Regeneration or Gentrification?” Leaders and developers across the country are looking for the solution to the challenge how to deliver regeneration projects in a way that benefits local people rather than resulting in them being swept out.

And around all this we continued to support the launch of the Bristol Housing Festival being driven by Jeremy Sweetland, the Shaftesbury Partnership, Homes England and ourselves. The festival will turn Bristol into a showcase of the latest innovation in housing building and financing.

All this shows just how much our housing reputation has been transformed. Far from being an authority perceived as a place that didn’t get homes built, we are now being cited as the place to watch. It’s being repeated by city partners and developers. It was mentioned repeatedly at the National Housing Federation Housing Summit. In an article published in the Bristol Post in July, the Chair of Homes England wrote of his new confidence in Bristol as a city with whom he could “do business”.

We committed to providing homes for people as the key policy intervention. We have rebuilt the council team and we are delivering and that is reflected in the stories being told about us.


Further news coverage about housing in Bristol from the past few weeks:

Aug 16 – ‘We are getting stuff done’ to solve the housing crisis says Mayor Marvin Rees as families move into affordable development
The Mayor of Bristol told Bristol Live: ‘We are getting stuff done’ as he took another step in tackling the city’s housing crisis yesterday.

Aug 28 – Bristol City Council set to create housing company
Bristol City Council looks set to create a new housing company to increase the number of homes built in the city.

Sept 6 – How Bristol City Council is going to create 53 new council houses in Bristol
A £24million handshake has kick-started Bristol City Council’s first foray into the private housing market.

Sept 17 – Incredible drone footage shows new development of 256 homes in Wapping Wharf
Construction work to create more than 250 new homes in Wapping Wharf is now underway.

Sept 17 – Wapping Wharf continues to grow

The harbourside skyline will soon have a new addition, with construction work now well underway to build more than 250 new homes in the second phase of Wapping Wharf.

Sept 17 – Work underway on second stage of Wapping Wharf in Bristol

Sept 17 – Changing the narrative around housing in Bristol with a bold, new vision
Bristol is about to embark on a five-year voyage, pioneering ways to overcome the UK’s housing crisis.

 Sept 18 – Developers ‘have to deliver affordable’ homes to help us solve the housing crisis
Developers eyeing the house-building boom in Bristol will only be able to get new homes built if they can deliver affordable housing at the same time.

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