An unusual new housing development in Bristol is looking for ‘super tenants’ who’ll help to make others feel at home, both in their property and wider community.

The social housing project, being built on stilts above a car park in St George, consists of 11 ZEDpod apartments let and managed by Bristol Council – the first development of its kind in the city.

It aims to address Bristol’s housing crisis by providing housing specifically for young people and will act as transitional accommodation for tenants on low incomes or those making their first steps into independent living.

YMCA Bristol, one of several partners working on the project, is taking applications for four ‘community builders’ to move in when the site is ready in November.

Super tenants

These super tenants will be tasked with uniting residents and encouraging them to get involved in their community – although they won’t be paid and will still have to cover their own rent of £80 per week for a room in a two-bedroom flat.

ZED Pods reclaims urban areas with housing built above car parks and hard-standings where conventional construction won’t work; these low cost, modular homes can be erected in days, fully fitted for immediate occupation.

Two two-bedroom homes have been set aside for the four chosen tenants, who will live there in pairs for a minimum of two years. The developer says they’ll act as a catalyst in bringing together all of the residents in the new apartments by encouraging them to get involved in wider community life in St George.

It adds: “Building homes is one thing, but building community takes people with vision and commitment to make it happen. We hope that this new approach can be replicated in other places in the city and around the country.”


  1. My opinion as an Architect that this is totally out of context and lack any vision at all. What about privacy and outdoor space usage. It feels like a large public toilet in middle of a car park.

    People raised some concerns about the new permitted development rights recently put forward by the Government that it will lower quality. Has the above proposal received planning approval yet which supposedly protects Architecture and encourages quality design!

  2. You’d have to be desperate to want to live in a car park. Is this an 24 hour car park? Imagine car doors slamming 24 hours a day and engines stopping and starting! Looks like a slum in the making. Lots of young people have push bikes. Where are they going to store them? I think it’s a very bad idea, but might be useful to provide housing for people such as nurses if placed in the hospital car park in the area designated for staff only.

  3. The image that goes with this article gives a totally erroneous impression. The development is in what was the car park of a large Victorian park surrounded by poplar and plane trees. It is on a beautiful site. Take a look at
    Thank goodness Bristol is doing something to help people get into decent homes and not being at the mercy of landlords who want to cram young people into poor quality housing with no communal space apart from a narrow kitchen.
    Lockdown has really highlighted how shameful the quality and facilities of ‘professional house shares’ can be with such a sad impact on mental health of many of the tenants.

  4. Portacabins on stilts.
    What a load of nonsense.
    This is the kind of stupid idea that seems to arise in places like London or Bristol. Usually dreamt up by people who live on inherited money in the leafy suburbs.
    People want to live in proper houses.

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