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Social landlords' merger plans reach 'major milestone'

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Social landlords' merger plans reach 'major milestone'

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing

Social landlords' merger plans reach 'major milestone' Social landlords' merger plans reach 'major milestone'

Image: Housing via Shutterstock

A proposed merger between housing associations Jephson and Raglan have reached a "major milestone" the landlords have said.

With a formal application now submitted to the Homes and Communities Agency, the merger would create a partnership with a joint turnover of £160 million and £1.6 billion in assets.

While the initial business case assumed merger-led savings of around £5.8m per annum, which the HAs claimed could provide 940 additional new homes, the current plan goes even further, projecting up to 1,272 additional homes

George Blunden, Raglan chair and chair of the joint organisation’s new board designate committee, said: “Overall, we’re looking at potentially developing more than 7,000 new homes over the next 10 years. That represents an opportunity for thousands of people and families to have a place they can call home, particularly those who may be disadvantaged or vulnerable and whose needs are not met by the open market.

“Our calculations are based on conservative assumptions about the economy and maintaining the very strong financial position of the group. There may therefore be additional scope for increasing the figure at a later date.”

The application also outlines plans for customer service improvements, stock rationalisation, value for money and the intention to re-brand the new group.

CEO (Designate), Bob Strachan, said: “We’ve been very thorough in detailing what a joint organisation will bring in terms of advantages for residents, employees, the business and our working partners. The HCA needs to be certain we have the strength and capacity to deliver our plans, which we believe are both ambitious and achievable.”

The HCA will now consider the application and a decision is expected in September. If approved, the new group will become operational from January 2015.

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