Group from the community standing in front of the factory where the panels are made for the houses.

We Can Make – start with people

A new film from the CLT We Can Make in Bristol shows a radically different approach to community led housing. Backed by the local council and Nationwide, the project is community owned, community made and low carbon (both in its build and running costs). There are just so many facets to this project it’s hard to process at first! It starts with people and stays focused on people which is impressive.

  • It starts with the need of the person/people, they are part of the design process, the build process and now the living bit!
  • It doesn’t just provide a home, it provides skills, confidence and independence to the person the home is being built for
  • There is a focus on low carbon and community resources – using local companies, community knowledge and community resources
  • This is a low impact approach as well (see, so much going on here!), using micro sites described as ‘urban acupuncture’, a ‘gentle densification’ putting homes in places exactly where people need them.

The feeling you get at the end is of a home building project that is wrapped snugly around the end user which elevates it beyond just an other housing project. See what you think – could this be adapted to a rural environment to enable people to remain within their communities? How would a project like this be received within your local community? Community led housing comes in many forms, it really should always start with people and their needs, and the benefit should be to the whole community. We Can Make has achieved this and provided a model that is worth considering.

The stories of John, Toni and Bill will make you think. Resources and more information are available on their website.