MPs & Councillors

The Almshouse Association guides, supports and represents 1,600 independent almshouse charities; these charities own and manage 30,000 almshouse dwellings that provide safe and warm homes for 36,000 people in housing need across the UK.

Almshouses are a charitable form of self sufficient, low cost community housing that is held in trust for local people in housing need. They are managed and run by almshouse charities made up of local volunteers. Through representation, fundraising, donations and legacies, The Almshouse Association is working hard with almshouses charities, local authorities and the Government to make it possible for many more to be built. Almshouse residents are know as beneficiaries (rather than tenants) and they pay a weekly maintenance contribution (rather than rent), which is used by the trustees to pay for the upkeep of the almshouses. Weekly maintenance contributions are typically less than either the affordable market rent or the local housing allowance.

As individual independent charities, they have specific aims, often based on tailored local need and as such whilst many almshouses focus on older residents or those with financial hardship, others focus on retirees from specific occupations, such as miners or service personnel and many give priority to those with connections to the local area. Almshouses are often situated in rural areas and are small scale, usually consisting of under twenty units. Almshouses can only be available to those in need from the community and are exempt from The Right to Buy.

The Almshouse Association is keen to work with MPs, MSPs, MSs, MLAs, Mayors and Councillors across the UK, to promote the work of our member charities, to protect our almshouse charities making sure they are the best they can be , increasing the number of almshouses and almshouse charities and highlighting their importance in the local community and as one of a number of solutions to the affordable housing crisis.

If you would like to find out more about almshouses in your local area, please email

Or to organise a more in-depth chat, please please email (Policy and Engagement) or (The Almshouse Association CEO)

More information you may find useful can be accessed by clicking on the buttons below:

More research and publications can be accessed here.

MPs and Councillors out and about in the almshouse community