Almshouses: Sheltered Housing

The Charity is proud to have provided accommodation for the older person in beautiful surroundings for over 300 years. The first 9 almshouses were completed and occupied in 1710 and have been added to over the years. There are now 48, which continue to be let at very low rents: 38 for single occupancy and 10 for couples. These provide homely accommodation in a secluded community setting for up to 50 residents.

In accordance with the mandate of the Charity’s founder, the almshouses are reserved for those of “limited financial means”. The criteria for becoming an almshouse resident remain close to those specified by Michael Yoakley himself: “No busy-body, nor proud idle person, nor waster, but careful and diligent as much as in them lieth, labouring with their own hands for a maintenance, being of good life and Godly conversation as becometh the truth and the Christian religion.”

How do I apply?

The almshouses are very popular and application to move in can often mean joining a lengthy waiting list. Cottages change hands on average at 2 per year. The suitability of an applicant for residence at Drapers Cottages will be determined by the following criteria based on terms outlined in of the will of Michael Yoakley (1707):
1. Economic – of minimal income and limited investment.
2. Health – in general good physical and mental health; able to look after themselves on a day to day basis e.g. do their own shopping, washing, cooking with minimal if any assistance.
3. Social – kind, considerate, respectful of neighbours, “of Godly life and good conversation”, an asset to the Drapers community (See the original criteria as stated by Michael Yoakley).

PROCESS:

1. On initial application the applicant will be invited for an informal visit to the homes and if still interested in applying, will be given an application form to complete. Please telephone 01843 223652 to arrange an appointment to visit.

2. The Care Manager will review the application form. If she decides at this point that the applicant does not meet the above criteria, the applicant will be informed that their application has been unsuccessful.

3. Two references will be taken up from referees given by the applicant, as well as a reference from the applicant’s current landlord, if appropriate. The Manager will review the references. If it is decided at this point that the applicant does not meet the above criteria, the applicant will be informed that their application has been unsuccessful.

4. The applicant will be invited to attend a formal interview at Yoakley House with the Care Manager, a trustee director and the Warden. If the interview panel decide at this point that the applicant does not meet the above criteria, the applicant will be informed that their application has been unsuccessful.

5. The applicant will be required to provide a medical report from their own GP. Any costs will be met by the Charity. The Manager will review the medical report. If she decides at this point that the applicant does not meet the above criteria, the applicant will be informed that their application has been unsuccessful.

6. Being confident that the applicant meets the above criteria after completing the full process, the Manager will recommend to the Trustees that the applicant be accepted on to the waiting list. If at this point there is any uncertainty about the applicant’s suitability for a place, the Trustees will be asked to make a final decision.

7. When he/ she reaches the top of the waiting list (kept in date order of acceptance on the list), the applicant will be invited to accept the next available cottage. Should he/she decide not to accept the cottage offered, he/she will be reconsidered for the next available place but should he/she turn down 2 offers (other than in exceptional circumstances e.g. the applicant is in hospital) he/she may be required to repeat certain aspects of the application process in order to remain on the waiting list at the discretion of the Board of Trustees.

Either the Chairman of the Board or another director acting on his behalf will be available to assist the Manager in cases of difficulty. Details of how this process is working will be reported to the meetings of Board.

Image 1 Image 2 Image 3