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New era for Essex Almshouses

Sat 29 September 2018

Four sets of Essex almshouses have been transferred by housing association Colne to a specialist almshouse charity, which was established to ensure that local homes continue to be provided for local people in perpetuity.

Legacy East Almshouse Partnership (LEAP) has taken over Colne’s role as Corporate Trustees of the 21 bungalows and flats in Brightlingsea, Broomfield, Writtle and Chelmsford.

Colne’s Chief Executive Sara Thakkar said: “After managing the almshouses for around a decade, we felt it made sense to transfer them to LEAP, a charity which specialises in looking after both the almshouses and their residents.

“We’re delighted that the future of these almshouses is in extremely safe hands and that the high standards for which we are known will continue to be maintained.”

The Chairman of LEAP’s Trustees, Peter Hill, explained: “Almshouses have existed for hundreds of years and are often recognisable by a row of small cottages, usually designed for single people. However, they can also be modern, such as the flats and bungalow that we have taken over from Colne in Brightlingsea.

“Most of the buildings have a fascinating and historic past, given by benefactors and supported by their own individual charities and endowments. Residents are allowed to stay for life but have no right to buy, so the properties are always available for local people for generations to come.”

LEAP was established in 2013 and manages a number of almshouses across East Anglia for people of all ages, who meet the allocation criteria, including those who are vulnerable and disabled. Trustees are all highly experienced in the management of almshouses

The almshouses transferred include Santiago Cottages in Lower Park Road, Brightlingsea, comprising seven flats and a bungalow; Copland Almshouses in School Lane, Broomfield, which has four cottages; Writtle Almshouses which are three bungalows in Loves Walk in Writtle; and Roman House almshouses, made up of six flats in Roman Road, Chelmsford. Colne continues to provide housing management services for Chisel and Parmiters.

To find out more about LEAP please see www.leapalmshouses.co.uk

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New era for Essex Almshouses

L-R: Debi McAndrew, Colne Housing Tenancy Sustainment Officer, with LEAP Clerk Clare Heyes and LEAP Chairman of Trustees Peter Hill