Almshouses and the housing crisis
Do almshouses hold the answer to London’s housing crisis?
Essay published in the Architect’s Journal, by Matter Director Roland Karthaus
Almshousing is a unique form of social, affordable housing that predates modern forms by many centuries, usually providing for vulnerable, elderly people. Owned and managed by small, local charities, they fill a niche area in housing provision. Whilst unlikely to solve the housing crisis on their own, their unusual histories and constitutions mean that they are not subject to the same land pressures as many housing providers and they demonstrate means by which the planning system could better support innovation and supply of affordable housing.