Aspire Housing wins contract for historic almshouse charity

The management of an almshouse charity in Rugeley, Staffordshire, is to transfer to Newcastle-under-Lyme based Aspire Housing.

The Hopkins Sneyd Almshouse is a charity that operates to provide housing for people from Rugeley and Brereton.

The charity’s origins date back to the 1700s and today it has 44 homes. These are made up of a 36 home sheltered housing scheme called Sneydlands, six almshouses and two bungalows.

The homes will remain owned by the charity but Aspire will provide management services.

The homes are currently managed by Sanctuary Housing, but this arrangement will be coming to an end. The charity invited other housing associations to apply for the work and Aspire Housing was selected by the trustees. Handover of management is expected in early 2014.

Wayne Hughes, managing director of Aspire Housing, said: “We are very pleased to take on the management of these homes and we look forward to working with the residents, staff and trustees.

“We are very experienced in managing sheltered housing and services for older people and we aim to provide an excellent service to current and future residents.

“Rugeley is a new area for us, but we are pleased to expand again beyond our heartland in Newcastle and play our part in this community.”
The Rev Michael Newman, who is chair of the charity and vicar of St Augustine’s Church, said: “We are very pleased to have appointed Aspire Housing as a locally based housing association to manage the charity’s homes.

“Aspire is committed to providing a high standard of service for our residents and we look forward to working with them.”

The services Aspire Housing will provide include:
• managing the waiting list, letting homes and collecting rent
• managing requests for repairs
• managing the two staff
• ensuring appropriate standards of support for the residents are met
• developing new homes.

Aspire Housing manages around 9,000 homes in North Staffordshire, including 17 sheltered schemes.

It is part of the Aspire Group, which also includes a training company PM Training, a furniture reuse charity Furniture Mine, a membership network for social enterprises Social Enterprise West Midlands and Aspire’s unique regeneration charity the Realise Foundation.

The Hopkins Sneyd Almshouse charity is managed by a board of 11 trustees who include the Rev Newman and two councillors from Cannock Chase Council. It was created from an amalgamation of 18 different charities, some of which date back to the 1700s.