What you may not be so aware of is that we are part of a much wider Almshouse Movement, which dates back over 1000 years. Our first almshouses in Richmond were in 1600, but other charities date from the 1100s, so we are the new kids on the block! There are over 1700 almshouse charities in the country, housing over 36,000 people. We are not the only charity currently expanding – the Almshouse Association, which is the umbrella body that supports all almshouse charities, says that we are currently in the largest period of new almshouse building since the Victorian era.
Almshouses bring benefits to those housed within them, but the wider benefits of almshouses have now been investigated. The Almshouse Association commissioned a report looking in particular at the financial benefits of almshouses to the local health and social care economy.
These are some of the findings:
- £43m total financial benefit per year
- Almshouse residents are less likely to use domiciliary care
- Residents make fewer GP appointments and are less likely to visit A&E
- Living in an almshouse generates financial benefits to the social care and health economy of c£1,340 per almshouse resident per year
- Moves into almshouses free up between c.3,700 and c.4,000 homes in the social rented and private housing market per year
- Almshouses contribute to local economies through their staff and volunteers with an estimated value of £56m.