Welcome to Caractacus Housing

Registered in July 2003, Caractacus Housing is a charity formed to provide low cost rented accommodation to help people on a low income who have a strong local connection to the areas of West Somerset and Mid-Devon.

About Us

Caractacus Housing was formed as a charity and the trustees have steadily added to the housing portfolio over this period thanks to the exceptional generosity of the charity’s founder, Sheila Laxman. The charity now owns over 20 properties.

The charity has a second objective to provide assistance to local people with financial or material needs. Over the years this has helped to provide IT and business equipment, a new swimming pool heat pump to a local school; workshops to school pupils on money management; travel costs to and from college or hospital and resources for monthly support groups for children affected by bereavement or an ill member in the family. Contributions have also been made towards a new MRI scanner at a local hospital and Exmoor Young Voices project exploring housing solutions on the moor.

Area of Operation

The charity's area of operation includes the parishes of:

Brompton Regis, Brushford, Cutcombe, Dulverton, Exmoor, Skilgate, Withypool & Hawkridge, Exford Exton, Winsford, Bampton, Upton, Morebath, Oakford.

The Caractacus Stone

Most local people will recognise our logo, the Caractacus Stone. It bears a Latin inscription dated to about 500AD, although the stone itself may be much older. Our favourite of the various legends that surround the stone is that it marks the site of buried treasure (although it has never been found).

Located on Winsford Hill, the Caractacus Stone stands in the geographical centre of the area covered by the charity and just as the Stone has a roof over its head, Caractacus Housing aims to provide locals with a house in the region so they can live, work and bring up a family in the local area to which they and their families belong.

Would you like to make a donation?

We are always looking for people who would be kind enough to help us with donations (possibly through bequests, transfer of shares or contributions from companies), all donations will be gladly received and used to help local people in need.

If you would like to make a donation then please get in touch using the details in our contact section.


Gift Aid

Please help us benefit further from your donation by registering for gift aid with us. For every £1.00 you give to Caractacus we can claim a further 25 pence from the Inland Revenue, as long as you are a UK taxpayer who pays an amount of tax at least equal to the tax we reclaim on your donations.


Eligibility for Tenancy

Local occupancy definitions

  1. Is currently resident in “The Defined Area” and will have been resident permanently and continuously during the period of 5 years, either forming a household for the first time or is currently homeless or living in otherwise unsatisfactory accommodation.
  2. OR is not currently resident in “The Defined Area” but has a strong local connection with the Parish or an adjoining Parish, including a period of permanent and continuous residence of 5 years or more within the last 20 years.
  3. OR has an essential need to live close to another person who is currently resident in “The Defined Area” and will have been so resident permanently and continuously during the period of 5 years, such essential need arising from the proven age of either such person or from medical reasons relating to either such person.

Definition of defined area

Our parishes include: Brompton Regis, Brushford, Cutcombe, Dulverton, Exmoor, Skilgate, Withypool & Hawkridge, Exford, Exton, Winsford, Bampton, Upton, Morebath, Oakford.

Exmoor National Park

Some of our houses are within the Exmoor National Park boundaries and when tenanting these properties we implement the Park’s own Selection Criteria as well as our own.

Selection Process

We can summarize our process for selecting tenants in six stages.

Stage 1) An advertisement is placed in the local press giving area of property, number of bedrooms, where to apply for an application form and the application cut-off date.
Stage 2) Tenant Application Forms are sent out to respondents stating the cut-off date for their completion and return (usually 3 weeks). NB: It is important to complete the application forms as fully as possible as they are fundamental in our selection process.
Stage 3) Returned Forms are then assessed by our Tenant Selection Committee.
Stage 4) A final shortlist will be agreed by the Selection Committee; shortlisted candidates are then invited to attend an interview. Candidates who have not been shortlisted will also be informed at this stage.
Stage 5) Interviews typically last about half an hour. We require all persons over 18 named on the application form to be present and to show proof of income.
Stage 6) References and supporting documents (submitted at interview stage) of shortlisted applicants are checked thoroughly. The Committee makes its final decision and contacts both successful and unsuccessful applicants usually within 7-10 days of interview.

Caractacus Housing, helping locals stay local


Caractacus Housing
The Old Coach House,
High Street,
SO20 8AD

Company Number: 04629949
Charity Number: 1098524


Telephone: 07900 694525


Caractacus Housing’s GDPR Privacy Statement

As a charity which provides local people in need, in the area of operation, low cost rented accommodation under its primary objective and financial or material help under its second objective, it is necessary to process, hold and retain personal information on applicants, tenants, suppliers, contractors and advisors.

The personal details processed and held are restricted to relevant, operational and legal requirements. Details are updated as and when changes occur, deleted when no longer required and all information is reviewed annually under the GDPR’s lawful bases for processing your data.

All personal details are kept in locked filing cabinets and stored on computers which have strong passwords. In order to fulfil the charity’s objectives and meet legal obligations some details have to be given to third parties. This information is kept to a minimum.

If you would like to see the charity’s full GDPR policy and/or require more information on how the charity processes and stores your personal details please contact: Lucy Bidwell, Caractacus Housing, The Old Coach House, High Street, Broughton, Hampshire, SO20 8AD. Telephone 07900 694525 email

The Information Commission’s Office (ICO) registration reference for the charity, Caractacus Housing is ZA399078. For more information about the GDPR and your rights please refer to the Government’s website. Under the GDPR you have a right to lodge a complaint with the ICO.

It is your right under the General Data Protection Regulation to withdraw your consent for Caractacus Housing to hold your personal details at any time. Should you wish to do so please contact Lucy Bidwell.

May 2018