Winnocks & Kendalls Almshouses: New homes for older people

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The first Winnocks & Kendalls Almshouses were built in 1679. The charity’s newest homes were part-funded by a Charity Bank loan. As one resident says, they’re “modern, airy, spacious, just beautiful.”

Social Problem

More and more people are struggling with rising rent costs. For retired people, the situation can be even more challenging, as they may have mobility needs and want to live closer to family support systems. All too often, they’re forced to stay in unsuitable accommodation far from the people they love.

Solution

For more than 1,000 years, almshouses have been working to alleviate poverty by providing affordable homes. The first Winnocks & Kendalls Almshouses were built in 1679. The charity has worked hard to bring its 41 almshouses up to modern day standards, ensuring that older people have a quality home that meets their needs.

Loan

The latest phase of the project was completed with the help of an £800,000 loan from Charity Bank. Several run-down bungalows were demolished and replaced with new flats. While the new homes have been designed to be architecturally sympathetic to nearby Grade I listed buildings, they are built to modern standards. Each one has full accessibility for wheelchair users, plus energy efficient heating, fibre broadband connection and a 24-hour careline.

Impact

Winnocks & Kendalls has created a community, where older people have homes that make their lives easier, and communal spaces to socialise with friends. The charity has also helped to bring families closer together, as older parents have been able to move closer to their children thanks to the charity’s flexible housing policy.

“We're very keen to build a community here, where people have a home for life and can get to know their neighbours. The monthly payment is fixed at the local housing allowance level, so no one is excluded because they can’t afford to live here. And there’s no right to buy; these homes will remain with the community, to be used by the community, for people in the community. Ad infinitum, in perpetuity.”

Michael Siggs, Clerk of Winnocks & Kendalls Almshouses

“We were sharing a house with my daughter before we moved here. I fell in love with the flat as soon as we walked in. It’s modern, airy, spacious, just beautiful. It ticks all the boxes. We have a lift and a wet room, so it’s very accessible. The monthly payment is really affordable and covers everything. We feel very safe here and have alarm pendants in case we become unwell. We’re both very poorly; I’m on oxygen for several hours a day and my husband has rheumatoid arthritis. Living here makes us feel better. The design works so well for us. We absolutely love it.”

Mrs Brownsdon, a resident

About Charity Bank

Charity Bank is the loans and savings bank owned by and committed to supporting the social sector. Since 2002, we have used our savers’ money to make more than 1,000 loans totalling over £350m to housing, education, social care, community and other social purpose organisations.

Find out more about us here.

Nothing in this article constitutes an invitation to engage in investment activity nor is it advice or a recommendation and professional advice should be taken before any course of action is pursued.