What is an Almshouse?

Almshouse charities are regulated by the Charity Commission and are usually governed by locally recruited trustees. Residents are not tenants but are beneficiaries of the charity. They pay a monthly contribution (WMC), which is similar to rent but different in law and less than the commercial rate. Almshouse trusts were generally founded by benefactors in earlier times to provide for those in need and often to cater for a particular category of person.

The original purpose of the Davenport Homes was to provide accommodation for poor people in need and employees or former employees of the Davenport Brewery companies and their dependants, who lived within a 25 mile radius of the Head Post Office in Birmingham, (except in special cases). The purpose of the Samuel Welsh Memorial Home was to benefit retired nurses and other health workers.

Beneficiaries of the charity are now any person in need, hardship or distress, but with preference given to those who fulfil the criteria of the original benefactors.