On 22nd October Lord Kennedy of Southwark asked the Government “what assessment they have made of the role of alms houses in the provision of housing for the elderly.” The Bishop of London asked a further question:
The Lord Bishop of London: My Lords, I declare my interests as stated in the register. The Church of England continues to provide excellent almshouses provision as a support to older people through its charities. There are over 30,000 almshouses in the UK and more than 1,000 new ones have been built in the last decade. Another 750 are in the pipeline, providing places of flourishing and support for the elderly. However, the complexities of the buildings themselves prohibit modern building standards being achieved. Will the Minister comment on whether Her Majesty’s Government will provide grants for local almshouse charities to upgrade their facilities within the complex planning frameworks associated with these buildings?
Lord Greenhalgh (Con): My Lords, I thank the Church of England for the contribution it has made to the almshouse movement, particularly in London. I remember the Lygon Almshouses in my local authority. This is a problem for all forms of sheltered and secure accommodation; much of it needs to be upgraded. I will take away the right reverend Prelate’s point and write to her, if I may.