Almshouse opportunity helped us save
Girton Town Charity currently has 13 almshouses in the Village, including three new ones at Suffolk Terrace on the High Street. Four are occupied by residents on permanent appointments and the remaining nine include families on three-year appointments which can give them time to save towards their own homes.Since 2012, 11 families have benefitted from the opportunity to do this including most recently Richard and Natalie.
After their family mentioned seeing a call for applications to live in Centenary Court in Wellbrook Way – and following a successful interview – the couple were appointed in February 2018.
Richard says: “I lived in Girton for 25 years before moving into a rented home outside the Village for three years. Our family told us about the amazing opportunity to apply for an almshouse which would give us the chance to save the deposit for our
own place. “Over the last three years, we have really enjoyed being back in the Village and near our family and in the meantime have been able to secure a brand new home on a shared ownership scheme.
“We would definitely recommend young families to apply for the scheme. It has enabled us finally to get our own place which we never thought would be possible. We would like to say a huge thank you for the opportunity and for all the support we have received from Girton Town Charity.”
GTC’s two and three bedroom unfurnished homes are made available to those with a Girton connection and are let as almshouses which means they are subject to different legal arrangements from private, council or housing association tenancies. Residents are ‘appointees’, and live in the house under licence, paying a maintenance contribution, not rent. As they are almshouses there is no ‘right-to-buy’ or opportunity for shared equity. Vacancies are advertised locally and residents can apply and are interviewed, with decisions made on the basis of a range of criteria. Almshouse residency for under 55’s is limited to three years.
GTC Chair Ann Bonnett added: “It is very heartening to hear how our almshouse provision for young families can really help them to take the next step on the housing ladder. I hope that Richard and Natalie’s story will be an inspiration to others to consider applying in the future when homes become available. “We are also delighted to have recently added to our housing portfolio with Suffolk Terrace, giving three further families the opportunity to do the same. Further down the line, our Dovehouse Court development will increase our provision for over 55’s, enabling us to meet the growing need for homes
within our Village.”