"...our officers are continuing constructive discussions with ACORN about the introduction of an 'Ethical Lettings Charter' and I look forward to being able to announce progress on this later this year." - George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol
In May 2014, 100 residents came together in Easton, Bristol to launch their neighbourhood ACORN group. Now just 14 months later, evictions have been stopped and houses have been fixed, Government Ministers have asked to pop in for a chat, new groups are being formed nationwide and we've won probably the first 100% UNANIMOUS vote in the recent history of Bristol City Council.
That vote was to support our Ethical Lettings Charter. The Charter challenged landlords and letting agents to sign up to a graded Bronze, Silver and Gold set of standards for the private rental housing that 43,000 Bristolians and 11000000 Brits now live in.
Now, Bristol City Council have - in partnership with other local councils - launched their own West of England Rental Standard. We really welcome this set of minimum standards - similar to our own Bronze level - but are delighted that it seems Bristol City Council are following in our footsteps...
The Bristol Post recently reported that "a new grading system for landlords in Bristol could be introduced within the next year" noting that "Campaigning group Acorn has been putting pressure on landlords and the city council amid claims that people who rent in the city are getting a rough deal".
We're equally pleased to hear Mayor Ferguson in the same announcement confirm his support for our Charter, saying "...our officers are continuing constructive discussions with ACORN about the introduction of an 'Ethical Lettings Charter' and I look forward to being able to announce progress on this later this year."
Even better, as we move toward a Mayoral election next year, we can confirm that at least one - and we believe another - probable Mayoral candidate has already declared their support for our Charter!
Over the next year, ACORN in Bristol will be aiming to organise new neighbourhood groups around the city and win more progress on the issues that concern our members, and low-middle income communities in general.