Newham to benefit from housing association merger

PUBLISHED: 10:44 07 April 2016 | UPDATED: 10:44 07 April 2016

Chobham Manor is being developed by one of the organisations involved in the merger

Chobham Manor is being developed by one of the organisations involved in the merger

Three housing associations have announced plans to merge, creating an extra 35,000 homes across London.

L&Q, East Thames and The Hyde Group are in discussions to unite and create one of the country’s top four largest home building companies.

Together, they will be able to build 100,000 new homes – 35,000 more than they could have achieved alone – with a quarter set aside for first time buyers and another quarter at affordable rent.

The merger will also see the creation of a new training academy, which will provide nationally accredited apprenticeship schemes.

The announcement has been welcomed by the housing minister, Brandon Lewis.

He said: “This shows what can be achieved by combining the strengths of each organisation. It will make a real difference to increase their capacity to build, house and help thousands of people across London and the south east.

“I welcome the added focus on helping our ageing population and the launch of a training academy for staff and residents.

“In my mind, this is exactly what housing associations should be doing.”

The three companies are already active in Newham, with L&Q playing a role in building Chobham Manor and East Thames in charge of Stratford’s Prospect East development.

It is estimated the merger will deliver efficiency savings of £50million a year, and will set aside an extra £250m for community investment.

David Montague, the chief executive of L&Q, has been announe as the CEO designate of the merged organisation.

He said: “Our plans will allow us to tackle the housing crisis head on, driving greater efficiency, building more homes, creating beautiful new places and sustainable, independent communities.

“At the heart of our united mission will be the continued provision of affordable homes for those in need.”

His deputy will be Elaine Bailey, currently chief executive of The Hyde Group.

She said: “The combined strength of all three associations means that we will be able to deliver a house building programme that would have been impossible to achieve for each organisation alone.

“As well as this, we want to lead the sector in customer service, meeting the service aspirations of all our residents across a range of housing tenures.

“Put simply, we are stronger together – more financially capable of delivering and managing our stock than we are apart.”

The new organisation, which has not yet been named, will be responsible for 135,000 existing homes and aims to engage residents throughout the process.

It will hold a consultation event for those living in homes managed by all three organisations early this summer.

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