Reading Almshouse Charity (RAC) is an amalgamation of a number of smaller almshouse charities, which have been providing social housing in Reading for over 200 years. RAC is a non-profit making Charitable Incorporated Organisation and is operated in accordance with its Constitution dated 8 July 2013 and any subsequent amendments. The purpose of the Charity is to provide housing accommodation for persons of good character, in need, who have resided within 20 miles of Reading town centre for at least three years.
RAC is administered by voluntary Trustees. Day-to-day management is delegated to, and carried out by, the Clerk to the Trustees and the Property Managers.
RAC provides unfurnished dwellings on three sites in the Reading area:
- Penton House, Kennet Island, Reading
- Castle Street Almshouses, Castle Street, Reading
- Liberty House, Earley, Reading
Penton House, built in 2011, has 41 almshouse flats (all of which are suitable for couples), plus a communal lounge and kitchen area, guest room, laundry facilities, an extra bathroom and offices for the Charity. Residents are restricted by a planning condition to those aged 55 and over.
The Castle Street Almshouses comprise 27 almshouse flats, (4 of which are suitable for couples), laundry facilities and an office for the Manager.
Liberty House has been recently acquired by the Charity and is being refurbished to provide one bedroom, 2 bedroom and bedsit flats, plus a communal lounge and kitchen area, guest room, laundry facilities and an office for the Manager.
All sites have outside areas available for the enjoyment of all residents and where social events are held.
Almshouses provide security and residents are encouraged to make friends and share a wider social life through use of the communal lounge and other available facilities and events. However, the Almshouses are not a nursing home nor a care home and residents must be capable of leading independent lives.