Almshouse Vacancy Information
The Almshouse Association
The Almshouse Association was formed in 1946. Its purpose is to safeguard the welfare of residents and the interests of charities and their buildings. As a membership organisation we provide guidance and support to the clerks and trustees of individual charities and also represent the almshouse movement at local, regional and national level. Further information about the Association can be found in the ‘Almshouses Today’ section of this website.
Although the Almshouse Association does not provide accommodation itself, we are keen to support those who see an almshouse as a potential home. In this section we hope to be able to assist prospective almshouse residents by providing some advice about how they might identify an almshouse charity that meets their needs and also provide some key information about what an almshouse is and explain how it is slightly different to other forms of social housing in a way that makes them both unique and an important part of community life in the UK.
Almshouses are a unique model of social housing. In fact they are the oldest form of social housing in the UK, with many charities going back centuries, whilst others are very modern and provide well equipped homes, some with extra care for residents with specific needs.
An almshouse charity must be registered with the Charity Commission, who is the national regulator and charities are subject to a ‘scheme’, issued by the Commission, which sets out the objects – or requirements - of that charity, i.e. the wishes of the original benefactor. The charity is run by trustees who are responsible for the good governance of the charity and compliance with Charity Commission regulations.
Almshouse trustees usually live in the communities where the dwellings are situated. They are dedicated volunteers who work hard to provide a decent standard of living for residents. Charities are often based right in the heart of towns and villages where, normally, sheltered housing provision is unavailable due to high costs. This means that residents are able to remain in their community, close to shops and other essential facilities. Generally, an almshouse remains a resident’s home for life and trustees work hard to help their residents live comfortable, satisfying lives.
Information for prospective almshouse residents
There are a number of different ways someone can find out if there is an almshouse charity in their area, that the charity has a vacancy or that the potential resident ‘qualifies’ to be able to reside there. For example;
- Many almshouse charities publish their vacancies here on the Almshouse Association website; See the Almshouse Vacancies section for details of ‘Almshouse Vacancies by County’.
- By contacting the Association by phone, letter or email and we will send you a list of those almshouses situated in the area you live or wish to live. Please note it is then up to the individual to contact the charity to see if they have a vacancy or the person qualifies as a beneficiary.
- If you know that there is an almshouse charity in your area you can monitor local advertising outlets (local newspaper, library, church etc.), where a charity will place an advert.
- Via the Almshouse Vacancy Section advertised by the Elderly Accommodation Counsel (EAC).
Elderly Accommodation Counsel (EAC).
The Almshouse Association works closely with EAC. They are a registered charity, set up to help older and elderly people make informed choices about meeting their housing, support and care needs. EAC hold details of many almshouse charities and advertise on the site when vacancies arise. EAC’s objective is to deliver a first class information and advice service directly to elderly people and their relatives and carers. At the same time they have worked to raise the awareness of other advisory agencies, professionals and policy makers of the importance people attach to information and advice which helps them make their own decisions about how and where to live in older age.
EAC provides a well-respected, comprehensive and free advice and information service to elderly people, their families and advisors. The service is underpinned by detailed information which EAC has compiled over many years, and is delivered by a small team of Advisors with long experience. It is completely impartial and independent of any commercial influence.
The service is delivered in two main ways:
- By telephone 0800 377 7070: The EAC National Advice Line,handles enquiries from around 20,000 clients a year, and offers expertise, information and discussion.
- Through their website: www.housingcare.org. This site now attracts around 20,000 visitors a day to their site, most of whom find everything they need in its information pages, library and comprehensive accommodation databases. Some follow on with a call to the EAC Advice Line to request clarification or discuss their options.
See the Almshouse Vacancies section for current vacancies held by the Almshouse Association, which are regularly updated. If you are interested in any of the vacancies shown here, please contact the charity directly for further details on how to apply and the eligibility criteria. Or click on the EAC logo to see addition details of almshouse vacancies.