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Tenants quizzed as housing associations look to merge

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Tenants quizzed as housing associations look to merge

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing

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Image: Housing via Shutterstock

Two North East housing associations who are considering a merger have asked their tenants for their views.

Isos Housing Group and Cestria Community Housing announced they were in talks about forming a partnership last year.

The boards of both organisations have reached an agreement on how Cestria might become an independent member of the Isos Group and are asking tenants about their thoughts on the proposals.

Following the tenant consultation, plans will be submitted to the Homes and Communities Agency and if approved, the partnership could become official by October this year.

Cestria's chief executive, Paul Fiddaman, said: "Since Cestria was established in 2008 we have invested millions of pounds in our homes, services and communities, resulting in high customer satisfaction.

"There have, however, been many external challenges within the housing sector over the last year, including welfare reforms, and working in partnership with Isos would help us become stronger in the face of further changes.

"We’ve now invited all our tenants to have their say on the proposals and look forward to receiving their feedback."

Isos Group's chief executive, Keith Loraine, added: "The organisations have much in common, share core values but have few homes in the same geographic areas. Working together provides an opportunity for both to become more efficient and effective – saving money on operational costs which could be used to build more new homes and improve services.

"Being part of a group structure will make both organisations stronger operationally and financially and better able to meet the challenges and changes presented by new government policy.  It will also enable us to strengthen ties with our local authority partners and deliver better value to the customers we serve."

Under the proposals, Cestria would become part of the Isos Group but would continue to operate as an independent landlord, retaining its own branding, offices and staff.

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