Green light for housing associations' merger
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing
The Tees Valley's two biggest housing associations have been given the green light to merge.
Fabrick Housing Group and Vela Group have officially revealed that they will jointly become Thirteen Group in April.
The housing providers, which together own more than 32,000 homes from an area spanning North Tyneside to York, have been given the go-ahead to merge by the Homes and Communities Agency.
With a turnover of around £140 million a year, Thirteen Group will become one of the largest registered housing provider in the North East – and in the top 25 nationally. It will also be one of the 10 largest employers in the North East.
The providers have said their tenants will not be directly affected. Their landlord will continue to operate as usual but with an improved quality and extent of services. Consultation, including with residents and other stakeholders, was carried out as part of the process leading up to the merger.
As part of the move, plans are being developed to create Thirteen Care and Support, a new housing support arm, bringing together the services of the supported housing team of Tees Valley Housing and Norcare, the specialist Tyneside-based charity which is currently part of Fabrick Housing Group.
Alison Thain, Fabrick's current chief executive, is chief executive designate of Thirteen Group, while Cath Purdy, current chief executive at Vela, is chief operating officer designate.
Alison Thain said: “We are thrilled to announce that we will become Thirteen Group from 1 April, a name which is testament to the company’s innovative vision of challenging preconceptions, ‘doing things differently’ and pioneering new ways to deliver homes and create sustainable communities.
“Our collective purpose is to be a catalyst to raise aspirations. Joining forces gives us an exciting opportunity to build on Fabrick and Vela’s achievements by challenging and looking at things differently, to act with confidence and ambition for the benefit of the individual, the Tees Valley area and wider region.”
Cath Purdy said: “We understand the economic challenges we face as a business and those faced by our customers. We are creating a more sustainable organisation so that we can harness additional capacity to better serve our customers and communities by enhancing services and adding value.”