The Hornchurch Housing Trust was constituted in its present form in 1991. It was formerly known as Hornchurch United Charities because over the years many local charities involved in similar work combined.

The main component charities were:

1586 - Jane and Henry Appleton

The earliest of the component charities was established as Appleton's Almshouses in 1586 in the Parish of Hornchurch when Jane Ayloff purchased a house in Hornchurch High Street to convert to three almshouses to provide decent housing for the needy of the parish. She and her husband Henry Appleton then gave the houses in trust for continuous use for this purpose. The houses were let on long leases to people slightly higher on the income scale when a workhouse was built to accommodate the poor in 1721. The original Appleton's Almshouses were demolished in 1938 but were re-built and continued to be used as Almshouses until they were demolished to make way for business premises in 1967.

1598 - John Pennant

In 1598 four cottages that became known as Pennant's Almshouses were also bequeathed for the use of the poor in the parish. They were used for this charitable purpose until 1721 when they were demolished and the site was used to build the workhouse referred to above. In 1837 a Thomas Mashiter (see below) converted the former workhouse into four almshouses again. By 1910 the houses had been converted into nine rooms for old people and were used for this purpose until 1939 when the rooms were also demolished to make way for business premises.

1616 - Anthony Rum

Anthony Rum bequeathed a house known as Poynters in the Hornchurch High Street. The site was leased for 75 years in 1968 again for business purposes.

1663 - William Oakley

William Oakley left a cottage in Butts Green Road, the rent from which was to provide income for the poor. Eventually the cottage was replaced by 6 shops which were sold on long leases. When the freeholds reverted to the charity they were disposed of again. The last shop was sold in 2014.

1821 - John Bourne

John Bourne left an annuity of £20 per year for the poor.

1863 - Thomas Mashiter

The same Thomas Mashiter who converted the former Hornchurch workhouse to almshouses also bequeathed £225 in stock 'for the poor'.

1878 - Hornchurch Consolidated Charities

The Hornchurch Consolidated Charities was formed to include all of the earlier charities mentioned above as well as the bread and poor-gifts charities of Messrs Webster, Armstead, Rickett, Wright, H&J Richardson and Page.

1679 - Sibell Skeale

Sibell Skeale left a legacy of £20 plus two pieces of land, one of which was known as West Field. West Field was sold to the Council in 1973 and was used as the site for William Tansley Smith House. The proceeds from the sale of this land provided a large proportion of the money needed to build our present main property, which was built on the other piece of land she bequeathed which is why the property is named Skeales Court in her memory.

1811 - William Higgs

William Higgs left a legacy of £200 to provide loans to deserving people.

1932 - Wright's Almshouses

The Misses E, A and L K Wright left the almshouses now known as The Trust in Hacton Lane to our charity.

1971 - Hornchurch United Charities

Hornchurch United Charities was formed to incorporate all of the above charities.

1975 - Herepath Legacy

Our properties in Wolesley Road together with some shares were bequeathed to the charity by the Herepath family. Several of the bequeathed Wolseley Road properties have been sold but we retain 4 maisonettes for the use of our beneficiaries.