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Bristol Housing Crisis

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BBRC values thought leadership and having a deeper understanding of the issues that are facing our city and wider region.  Three of our Board directors are from UWEUniversity of Bristol andBath Spa University, and we regularly take on interns, volunteers and researchers from these local universities to make sure that we’re in constant contact with current academic thinking.  Our Communications Intern Sofia, studying Philosophy and Economics at the University of Bristol, has written this piece detailing the extent of the local Housing Crisis:

Recently Bristol was named the “Best City to live in the UK” by The Sunday Times. Bristol was praised by its buzzing culture, plentiful entertainment and leisure options, a vibrant culinary scene as well as “plenty of glamorous, creative, hi-tech and professional jobs”, reported The Independent.

However despite the hype surrounding Bristol’s recognition as a great place to live the city should not forget that many of its habitants still struggle to find a home.

Map retrieved from :

The map above shows that house prices in the Bristol & Bath region are on average 3 to 7 times the average earnings on the region, making house ownership unaffordable for many.

The average house price in Bristol is £198,556, and it has increased 29% since 2005 whereas in England and Wales the average house prices have only increased 16% during the same period.

In the 2011 census it was estimated that 55% of all houses in Bristol were owner occupied, however 28,4% of those currently fall beneath decent standard according to the Stock Condition Survey of 2012. Moreover the Bristol Housing Register of 2015 recorded that there are 359 homeless households and that rough sleeping has increased from 9 to 91 between 2012-2015.

Bristol’s growing population creates an extra obstacle: the lack of sufficient affordable houses to service the needs of families and young people is aggravated by an unfavourable economic climate which pushes many people to seek privately rented accommodation. Additionally, the insufficient number of houses generates a never ending vicious circle that can perpetuate the housing crisis. The lack of houses leads to an increase in the prices of rents and homes increasing the number of people seeking affordable housing. This generates greater instability as housing in the rented sector becomes less secure. Consequently there is an increase in overcrowding as households cannot move raising the numbers on waiting lists and homelessness. This people, traditionally credit constrained, cannot access the necessary finance to buy a house which bring us back to the beginning with insufficient houses being built (as not enough people are buying).

The picture painted shows that it is necessary to act against this problem and transform Bristol into a better city for all its inhabitants. At BBRC, we are working hard with local charities, community groups, community land trusts and Housing Associations to facilitate as much affordable housing and ‘Ethical Private Rent’ housing as we can in our role as a financier.

We are always keen to embrace new projects that aim to tackle the housing situation. If you have a project in need of funding which aims to alleviate the housing needs of the Bristol and Bath region, then please get in touch with Claire Fenner at [email protected] / 07910 223311.

Note: All the information provided was taken from the Bristol City Council Housing strategy


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