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.
We provide advice to members by telephone, email and post. Training seminars are organised around the country to enable as many member charities as possible to attend and the directors attend local meetings of charities whenever possible.
The member pages of our website provide many template policies and model documents together with information on topical issues as well as the opportunity to confer with other charities on subjects of interest to all almshouses.
To become a Member of the Association, the charity must offer almshouse accommodation and residents must be beneficiaries of the charity. The Governing Document of the charity must include providing accommodation in its objects.
Each member pays an annual subscription which is based on the number of almshouse dwellings owned by the trust. To find out about subscription fees, click here.
As well as email and telephone advice, members of the Almshouse Association have access to the following publications and services:
- Standards of Almshouse Management (SAM) and Support and Care for Residents are benchmark manuals endorsed by the Charity Commission and the Homes & Communities Agency. They provide detailed guidance on regulation and best practice.
- The Almshouses Gazette - published quarterly, this contains almshouse news and stories as well as guidance and advice on governance and compliance.
Model Policies and Documents
We provide many document templates and model policies that can be downloaded and customised for your charity.
Each year the Association offers four training seminars for trustees and clerks, one of which is an Induction seminar for new trustees and clerks. We aim to spread these geographically to give as many or our members as possible the opportunity to attend and provide speakers on topical issues. There is one seminar each year for wardens and scheme managers of almshouse charities.
The seminars are a great opportunity to see another almshouse charity and gain ideas from others’ experience. The Association’s directors are in attendance to answer questions
Regional and Local Meetings
The Association encourages regular local meetings of almshouse charities as these are an excellent way of getting to know the almshouses in your area and are a good opportunity to get together to discuss local issues. Whenever possible one of the Association’s directors will attend these gatherings.
Members receive full access to the Members’ Pages of our website where there is a wealth of information to help trustees and staff manage and run their almshouses, including:
- Guidance Manuals
- Model Policies and Documents
- Members’ Forum
- Page to advertise Resident Vacancies
- Page to advertise Staff and Trustee Vacancies
Panel of Consultants
A list of Legal Practices, Architects, Building Surveyors, Quantity Surveyors, Project Managers, Managing Agents and other specialists, all of whom have worked with, and been recommended by, a member almshouse charity.
Two insurers offer special block policies at discounted rates, specifically tailored for, and only available to, almshouse charities in paid up membership.
Loans & General Funding Assistance: The Almshouse Association is able to offer Interest Free Loans to member charities and assist and advise in planning for modernisation, remodelling and new build projects.
National Almshouse Association Common Investment Fund (NAACIF)
The National Association of Almshouses Common Investment Fund is a common investment fund established in 1962 for the benefit of participating almshouse charities.
Representation: Links are maintained with government departments, support charities and representative organisations. Regular meetings are held with the Charity Commission, the All Party Parliamentary Group for Almshouses (APPG), Homes England and the Land Registry. The Association lobbies on behalf of almshouse charities especially when new legislation has unintended consequences for the movement. An example would be the Right to Buy Scheme where we successfully achieved an exemption from this legislation for almshouse charities.
If you would like more information and/or are interested in joining the Association please contact us for an Application form.