The Future

St Pancras Almshouses – The Future
In 2009 we celebrated the 150th anniversary of the St Pancras Almshouses on their present site in Southampton road. It was definitely an occasion for looking back and paying tribute to the charitable efforts of our Victorian predecessors, the men and women who paid for these Almshouses to be built and then supported the residents who came to live in them. They were not all rich, but they were all generous, and recognised a responsibility to others less fortunate. The money they contributed a century and a half ago, invested on behalf of the charity, still provides a good proportion of the Almshouses’ income today.

But as well as looking back we are now looking forward too. The buildings have lasted well, but they need a thorough overhaul if they are to provide good homes for residents over the next decades. Fortunately the Homes and Communities Agency (formerly the Housing Corporation) has decided that almshouses fall within its remit to fund social housing. The Trustees have decided to take advantage of that decision and apply for a sizeable grant to help bring about major improvement of all our accommodation.

Not all our residents are happy about this: quite understandably they like things as they are. That is a tribute to our Manager Merrick Howse and to his assistant Patricia King. But the Trustees have a responsibility, just like our early benefactors, to plan for the future as well as the present. In August 2009 Camden Council gave approval to the plans and they have since been submitted to the HCA. The schedule of works we have drawn up means that if this project goes ahead as we expect no resident will have to move away from the site – all will be accommodated here while their home is re-modelled. And we have of course made sure that our architectural heritage will not suffer.

We hope that when the work is finished our residents will be pleased to be living in modern homes that are still the St Pancras Almshouses all of us love.