After World War II rented accommodation was scarce and social changes meant that ministers no longer wished to retire to their children's homes. Founded in 1948 as a private initiative, the Ministers' Housing Society acquired property to rent to supernumeraries, beginning with flats in Barrow on Trent, and was brought under the oversight of the Conference in 1953. Registered as a Friendly Society to provide housing for supernumerary ministers, deacons and ministers' and deacons' widows and widowers of limited means, it is now governed by a Board whose members are approved by the Annual General Meeting and which reports periodically to the Conference. Financed by bequests of money and property and by donations (including some from the Joseph Rank Benevolent Fund), by 2005 the Society owned and maintained approximately 950 properties available at an economical rent. There is also an equity sharing scheme giving tenants part-ownership.