FAQs

Q I live alone and own my own home. It is becoming difficult and expensive for me to maintain.  If I sell it, do I become eligible to apply for a vacancy?

Answer: Barlborough Hospital Trust owns Chandos Pole House and is a charity.  Its assets must be used only for the relief of poverty or significant hardship. Any home owner who finds their current home difficult to live in would be expected to use equity released from its sale to buy or rent a different type of accommodation, better suited to their needs.

People with significant financial resources cannot expect to draw additional benefit from the assets of the charity.

Q I don’t live in the parish of St James’ church at Barlborough.  Am I eligible to apply for a vacancy?

Answer: People living outside the parish of Barlborough may make an application.  If there are more applicants than there is accommodation available, priority must be given to those applicants who are currently living within the parish, all other qualifying criteria being satisfied. If there are no other applicants, the trustees will consider appointing someone from outside the parish.

Q I don’t regularly attend church. Will my application for residence be considered?

Answer: A core criterion of the charity is that the residents of Chandos Pole House should follow a strong Christian ethos. This is most easily demonstrated by applicants regularly attending Church of England services at a church where they live.

Applicants who do not attend a church but who claim to follow Christian principles in the way they live their lives and the manner in which they relate to others, will be interviewed by the trustees to establish whether their application may be taken forward for assessment. All other criteria must be satisfied.

Q Doesn’t a Church of England religious commitment to become eligible as a resident, constitute discrimination against those of a minority faith or none?

Answer: The benefactors who had the Almshouse built, left considerable parts of their estate for its ongoing support. They were very devout and belonged to a family which supported the church at Barlborough in many, exceptional ways, over a considerable period. Their original trust deed required prospective residents to follow the core principles of the faith of the Church of England. While the Almshouse does not belong to the church in Barlborough, ever since 1752 successive trustees have required that this religious criterion be met by applicants for residence. This criterion is still contained in the Charity Commission Scheme which the trustees must follow.

Within the Equalities Act 2010 there is identified ‘protected characteristics’ (Part 1, Chapter 1). These are defined as not being discriminatory in the context of a charity trust deed.

Q I have access to a car.  Is there space for me to park it close to the accommodation?

Answer: There is one off-street, unsecured parking space reserved for the use of Chandos Pole House residents.  When there is more than one resident with access to a car the trustees will determinee that use of the parking space must be allocated to the resident with the greatest need – perhaps because of a physical disability.

Q I am a single parent.  Am I eligible to apply for a vacancy?

Answer: All four units of accommodation at Chandos Pole House have only one bedroom.  Each unit is large enough to accommodate a married couple. A young child quickly reaches an age when their own bedroom becomes essential. It follows that Chandos Pole House could only ever be viewed as short-term or temporary accommodation for a person with a very young child.

When making appointments the trustees are obliged to give priority to single people, in the following order – spinster, bachelor, widow, widower.  If there are none of these among applicants at the time of a vacancy, only then may a married couple be considered.

Q I am otherwise healthy, active and able to look after myself but I do use a wheelchair.  Is the accommodation suitable for me?

Answer: Bearing in mind the Listed Building status of Chandos Pole House, there are limitations to providing some structural modifications.

Access through the rear door has no steps. It is provided with a ramp that is strong enough to support a motorised wheelchair.  Accessibility for a specific wheelchair user to the whole accommodation would need to be verified during an applicant’s pre-assessment interview.  Only the ground floor accommodation would be suited to wheelchair users. It will be for an applicant to assess the suitability of the accommodation for their needs, before accepting any offer of appointment to become a resident.

Q My financial circumstances make me eligible to claim housing benefit.  Would I be considered if I applied for a vacancy?

Answer: Residents do not pay rent but they are required to pay a Weekly Maintenance Contribution which goes towards the upkeep of the property. Unless officially exempted, residents are responsible for paying their Council Tax directly to Bolsover District Council. They must also open and pay for their own electricity account for heating and lighting, their own telephone services and their TV licence fee.  They are also expected to help to maintain the areas of garden, either themselves or by making a small monetary contribution along with the other residents, to pay for occasional gardening services.

Q How much is the weekly maintenance contribution (WMC)?

Answer:  The WMC is significantly subsidised from the assets and investments of the Barlborough Hospital charity. The amount charged is calculated from a formula that was originally set by the Dept for Housing and Communities some years ago. The formula uses financial data about average property values and wages in Derbyshire and the number of bedrooms in the property.  The level of WMC increase within one year may not cause hardship to current residents.

The amount of the WMC that is charged is well below what a person would be expected to pay in rent for similar property in the private rent sector or housing associations (before factoring in social benefits).

Q I have a physical / emotional health condition that is being treated by a GP / hospital consultant.  Am I eligible to apply for a vacancy?

Answer: Barlborough Hospital charity does not provide any type of personal or medical support to residents at Chandos Pole House. If a resident’s condition becomes a significant problem, it is up to the resident or the resident’s family to arrange the required personal and/or medical support.

It is a condition that at the time of their application, applicants must not be suffering from any major medical condition or disability.

Q What happens if I develop a serious illness after I have become a resident?

Answer: If a current resident develops a condition that requires either personal or medical support it will be for the resident or their next of kin, to arrange for that support to be provided. If it is perceived that it is unsafe for the resident to remain in Chandos Pole House, the trustees have the duty and reserve the right to ask for independent advice from a GP or other professional.  The resident or their next of kin will be required to follow that advice.

Q How long can I expect to remain a resident in Chandos Pole House?

Answer: Chandos Pole House is wholly owned by the Barlborough Hospital charity which is managed by a body of trustees.  The trustees have a primary duty to ensure, to the best of their ability, the sustainability of the charity for current and future residents.  They have full authority to make regulations for the management of the charity and the conduct of its business.

Residents may expect to live in their accommodation for so long as they abide by the regulations from time to time published by the trustees and continue to pay their Weekly Maintenance Contributions on time and in full.

Q I don’t have any furniture.  Is the accommodation furnished?

Answer: At the time of appointing a new resident each unit of accommodation has an equipped kitchen (electric cooker, refrigerator, sink and storage cupboards); a bathroom with toilet, hand wash basin and bath or shower. All private rooms and the shared areas of hallway and laundry have storage heaters installed and are fully decorated on first appointment. The living room and bedroom are usually carpeted as a legacy from the previous resident. The shared laundry has a washing machine.

Q Is there an age limit which applies to applicants?

Answer: Chandos Pole House with its residents is a close-knit community.  It has been the case, over very many years, that residents are at and often significantly over retirement age.  It is also the case that they assist each other (within their personal capacity) in times of need.  Otherwise they live a quiet, non-intrusive way of life. New applicants will be expected to be, and selected to be, a good fit into this community. There is no formal age restriction to the trustees making an appointment.

Q I have a pet. Am I eligible to apply for a vacancy?

Answer: Pets such as dogs, cats and some birds can cause a noise nuisance to other residents when they are left shut in and alone for long periods. Some residents may have mobility difficulties. Dogs and cats will cause a trip hazard to those residents if, when startled or excited, they run around their feet. Chandos Pole House is a Grade II Listed building that has features of architectural interest. It is not permitted to install animal (“cat”) flaps in its doors. For these reasons, pets are not permitted.

Q I am a smoker. Would I be considered?

Answer: Smoking is not permitted anywhere inside or outside, within the curtilage of the property.

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