Charitable Activity

The Dyers’ Almshouse Charity CIO

The Dyers’ Almshouse Charity  CIO is registered with the Charity Commissioners for England & Wales (No. 271560).

History

The first Dyers’ Company Almshouses were founded in the City of London in 1545 to look after dyers or their families who were elderly or fallen on hard times.  Over the following centuries more Almshouses were added but were in various parts of London, so the Company decided to amalgamate them for convenience and a new Almshouse was commissioned at Balls Pond in Islington.  The new building was completed in 1850 but by 1938 the city environment was deemed unhealthy and new Almshouses were built in Crawley, which at the time was a rural market town. A history of the story of how The Dyers bought the land at Crawley can be found at the bottom of this page.

The Crawley Almshouses

The Almshouses are situated in a 2½ acre conservation area in the centre of Crawley, with easy access to local shopping facilities and close to both Crawley and Three Bridges rail stations.

Built in the Arts & Crafts style they consist of thirty terraced bungalows on three sides of a garden square.  Each has a sitting room, double bedroom, kitchen and bathroom, and an allotment size garden at the rear. There is a communal room for activities and small events, well maintained central gardens, and a parking area for residents’ cars.

A manager is on hand during the day, and there is 24 hour on-call cover in case of a fall or other emergency. However, the Almshouses are not suitable for anyone needing special care as we do not have medical facilities or medically qualified staff on site.

Residents pay a monthly maintenance fee (currently £555) which includes the cost of gas (for heating and cooking), water rates and television licence fee. The maintenance fee is reviewed annually but is always well below the comparable market rent for the area. Residents are responsible for their own electricity and telephone bills, and also for Council Tax.

Becoming an Almsperson

We maintain a short waiting list of prospective residents who have been through the application process. When a vacancy arises but the waiting list has been exhausted adverts are placed inviting new applications for residence so as to replenish the waiting list.

Applicants are asked to complete a detailed application form, and potential residents are invited to interview at the Almshouses.  If appropriate, a further appointment is made to visit the applicant at home to assess and understand their domestic circumstances. If there is a vacant almshouse the applicant may be offered accommodation straight away, but more often they will be placed on the waiting list according to the urgency of their needs.

Eligibility

The Almshouses are run by a charity which requires residents to be of modest means and good character.

‘Modest means’ usually equates to being eligible for Housing Benefit (whether or not they are currently receiving it), and prospective residents are required to fill out an application form setting out their full financial position.

‘Good character’ is assessed by taking references, and personal interview.

Prospective residents must be in reasonable health and capable of independent living (with moderate assistance if required) at the time of taking up residence.

We regret that no pets or children are allowed to reside at the Almshouses.

If you would like further details, either for yourself or on behalf of a relative, please ring us on 020 7236 7197 or complete this form: Almshouses Enquiry Form and we will be in touch.