More than 6,000 people visited Bristol Housing Festival’s launch exhibition, the first event for the five-year festival. The free-exhibition ran from 19th October to 4th November and
prompted visitors to re-imagine affordable housing solutions for the city.
Exhibits included modular two-storey homes from Zed Pods and Totally Modular; a modular apartment from Tempo Housing; a single storey unit from We Can Make; and shipping container home conversions from ISO Spaces and Help Bristol’s Homeless; all of which were full-size.
The exhibition marks the start of a five-year project. Last month, Bristol City Council pledged to make sites available across the city for the Festival to test and deliver innovative and affordable housing solutions. Cllr Paul Smith, who made the announcement to an audience of 300 at the Festival’s launch in October, also committed the council to investing in six rapid-build modular homes from ZED Pods. These will be constructed on one of the sites and offered to people in housing crisis within six months, subject to planning.
Jez Sweetland, the Festival’s project lead said: “We are thrilled with the response we have had to the public launch of the Festival. It has been wonderful to see the level of interest, support and passion from the public and industry and the sheer ambition and expectation for Bristol, as a city, to get on and innovate to develop housing solutions which will facilitate community, and which can then be scaled and shared.
“However, the situation for those in our city in housing crisis or without hope of a secure home means we are not yet in any position to celebrate. The real, urgent and important work is now ahead of us which will require significant collaboration across all sectors of our city. We look forward to learning and building together as Bristol.”
Oona Goldsworthy, chief executive of United Communities, a community based housing association, said: "The housing festival’s exhibition event helped me to see and feel what could be done. It inspired United Communities to start meaningful conversations with at least two of the exhibitors about real projects on the ground. Watch this space."
Rob Gray, marketing executive at Stonewater Homes, a social housing provider said: “As someone living and working in Bristol, the exhibition event was very inspirational. Seeing the variety of families and others taking an interest shows the importance of bold thinking and projects such as this.”
Dr Rehan Khodabuccus, operations director at ZED Pods said: “It was a big commitment to bring a whole house down to the Festival, but we support what Bristol is trying to do to solve the housing crisis. We have been delighted to show local authorities, housing associations, members of Bristol City Council and the people living in the city that prefabricated modular houses can be high quality and it has been interesting talking to so many people.”
The festival is an initiative of Bristol One City, and supported by Bristol City Council, Bristol and Bath Regional Capital, West of England Combined Authority and The Shaftesbury Partnership.