Wishaw & District Housing Association (WDHA) - Transfer
WDHA Announces Preferred Partner
WDHA has agreed to pursue a merger through a Transfer of Engagements with Trust Housing Association in order to achieve:
- greater security for tenants over rent levels;
- an acceleration of the investment required to maintain WDHA tenants’ homes and estates; and
- a continuation of locally delivered services from an office based in Wishaw.
The choice of Trust HA follows a strategic review earlier this year into the future options for WDHA by the Board. That review concluded that it was in the best interests of tenants and other service users for WDHA to merge through a ‘Transfer of Engagement’ with another housing association, subject to confirmation via the tenants’ ballot and approval by the WDHA membership at a Special General Meeting.
There was a robust selection process during November involving meetings with all three housing associations shortlisted and reviews by WDHA tenants, staff and Board members to assess how each one deals with issues such as customer care, tenant engagement and staff relations. It included visits to their offices, housing schemes and estates and meetings with their senior and operational staff and residents.
Resident representatives from the Resident Involvement Team and staff presented their findings directly to WDHA Board members and the result was a unanimous decision to select Trust HA as our favoured partner. Trust HA offers the best fit with WDHA and we are confident that this Transfer of Engagements will produce an even stronger local housing organisation, offering a wider range of services to tenants and other service users. Trust has approximately 2,600 properties, of which the majority is supported housing, with some located within Wishaw and neighbouring areas, it has around 400 mainstream social rented homes for which it provides similar, quality services to those from WDHA.
Trust’s experience of providing additional support and specialised housing services will benefit our tenants who need this. Equally, WDHA will contribute its experience of providing quality services to tenants living in mainstream social housing and to residents purchasing factored services.
What Happens Next
In early 2019 detailed work on the proposed Transfer of Engagements will start. There will be opportunities for tenants and other service users to give their views on the proposal before tenants vote on the offer in a formal ballot, planned for the summer.
The Tenant Information Service (TIS) will act as independent tenants’ advisor throughout.
A separate independent specialist will oversee the final ballot to ensure that it meets good practice. A Transfer of Engagements will only take place if the majority of tenants voting in a formal ballot agree to it and members vote in favour of it at a special general meeting.
The promises made to tenants and other service users by Trust HA will be included in the ballot and the final Transfer of Engagements legal agreement; and post-transfer, will be monitored by Trust’s Board, staff and tenant representatives to ensure that they are delivered.
If you would like more information please contact me at B.Higgins@wishawdha.org.uk or ring the office to speak to Niall Gordon, Chief Executive on 01698-377200.