Housing providers swap 1,400 homes
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities
Two South West housing providers have swapped nearly 1,400 homes with one another, in one of the largest ever stock swaps in the social housing sector.
Knightstone Housing Association and Spectrum Housing Group exchanged homes in Somerset, Bristol, Dorset and Hampshire.
The stock swap, which is designed to deliver better levels of local service to residents, saw Knightstone taking ownership of 716 homes in Somerset, with Spectrum taking over 656 properties in Dorset and Hampshire.
The swap followed a six-week consultation with residents.
It was Knightstone's second transfer this year, bringing the total number of homes it has swapped in 2012 to nearly 3,000. The HA exchanged over 1,400 homes with Sovereign in January.
Spectrum transferred 480 homes in Wiltshire to Sovereign earlier in the week.
Knightstone's chief executive, Nick Horne, said: “This swap is part of a package of bold changes that will transform what we do, how we do it and where we do it.
“We’re very pleased to have completed this second stock swap in our plan, with negotiations and the transfer having gone smoothly. We share a passion with Spectrum for providing excellent customer service and we’ve assured affected residents that this will continue.
“We look forward to swapping a further 1,000 homes with Spectrum in the New Year, resulting in even more of our customers receiving local services.
“Part of our plan is to invest more in supporting neighbourhoods so they’re places people continue to want to live and this second stock swap will help us achieve just that.”
Stuart Davies, Spectrum's neighbourhood services director, said: “Spectrum has a great deal of expertise in stock transfers and we have successfully carried out similar transfers in North Devon and Cornwall, over the last couple of years.
“We believe this move will result in enhanced levels of customer service. Given the number of homes we have in Dorset and Hampshire, and the fact we have a well-established presence here, we can deliver a quicker and more cost-effective service to our new residents.
“Furthermore, residents can feel part of a larger community, get involved and have a say about the services they receive.”