Social housing lawyers Winckworth Sherwood backs almshouse research project


Winckworth Sherwood is backing a major research project that will explore the resilience and community benefits of almshouses as later life housing providers.

The £300,000 research is funded by the Dunhill Medical Trust will be led by the Almshouse Resilient Community for the Future, a project led by University College London, University of Suffolk, The Almshouse Association and seven almshouse charities: United St Saviour’s Charity, The Whiteley Homes Trust, Sir Josiah Mason Trust, Bristol Charities, Durham Aged Mineworkers’ Homes Association, Legacy East Almshouse Partnership, and Southwark Charities.

The research project will run until June 2024 and will ask the question ‘how almshouses build resilient communities for the future’? The research will focus on three core areas:
• The resilience and sustainability of almshouse buildings.
• How living in almshouses contributes to health, wellbeing and community.
• The governance and charitable structure of almshouses.

Charlotte Cook, a Partner in the Social Housing team and a specialist in later life housing at Winckworth Sherwood said: “Winckworth Sherwood is at the forefront of advising affordable and social housing providers, and whilst social housing providers have been the subject of many research projects, there is astonishing little that focuses on the contribution almshouses bring.

“Almshouses have long played a vital part in the UK’s housing provision but are often overlooked or misunderstood. This project will go some way to address this, and we are delighted to support it.”

Susan Kay, CEO of The Dunhill Medical Trust, said: “We have made a substantial commitment to support initiatives that develop and deliver suitable living environments and communities for older people. This project comes at a time when issues related to resilience and equity, diversity and inclusion have come strongly to the fore. This project will investigate these issues in almshouse accommodation for older people, and we look forward to working with all the project partners to help them share their learning.

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