King Street Housing Society in talks to join Aldwyck Housing Group
Monday 4th December 2017
The King Street Housing Society Limited and Aldwyck Housing Group Limited – a proposed new partnership.
We advised you during October and November that Aldwyck Housing Group Limited and The King Street Housing Society Limited had entered into talks for King Street to join the Aldwyck Group.
At that stage the proposal was that King Street would join the Aldwyck Group as a subsidiary organisation i.e. a separate organisation under the “umbrella” of the Aldwyck Group.
It is now proposed that King Street Housing merges completely with Aldwyck Housing Group.
The reason for the change to the proposal is that a full merger would achieve greater efficiencies and economies of scale and enable more homes to be built in the longer term by the combined organisation. This meets the Governments expectations of Housing Associations. A merger would enable King Street’s operation to be fully integrated with Aldwyck, which would avoid duplication of services and save money which could be invested in better services for residents.
The proposed merger would happen by what is called a Transfer of Engagements. This is a process which allows two housing associations to merge by one association transferring all its assets and liabilities into the other association. In this case the proposal is that King Street transfers its engagements into the Aldwyck Group.
Unlike the original proposal that King Street becomes a subsidiary of the Aldwyck Group, a transfer of engagements would mean that King Street would fully become part of Aldwyck and would disappear as a separate organisation, but would continue to operate as a brand name in Cambridgeshire.
If the proposals go ahead, all King Street’s properties including your home will automatically transfer into Aldwyck Housing Group and King Street residents will become residents of Aldwyck Housing Group Limited. Although your landlord will change, there will be no effect on your tenancy/shared ownership lease as Aldwyck will simply “step into the shoes” of King Street as your new landlord. Your rights under your tenancy/lease will not be affected,
The Social Housing Regulator (the Homes & Communities Agency) will continue to regulate Aldwyck as a registered provider of social housing, just as it regulates King Street currently so residents will continue to benefit from the protection of their rights by the Regulator.
Initially at least, King Street staff would continue to provide residents with the services they currently receive so you would see no immediate change to services. We are confident that a merger with Aldwyck will result in an improved housing management service and greater opportunities and choice for residents.
For further information on the Aldwyck Housing Group please visit their website:
We have produced a list of frequently asked questions which have been updated to reflect this new proposal.
Please do read the questions and answers set out below and contact us if you have any comments/observations to make, even if you have already responded.
Details of how you can reply appear at the end of this article.
We are also extending the period of consultation with residents until 8th January 2018 to ensure that everyone has a chance to respond to the revised proposal.
Your Questions Answered:
Who are Aldwyck Housing Group?
Established in Harpenden in 1968, Aldwyck Housing Group has a long track record of delivering affordable homes to rent or buy and providing supported housing services to customers in communities across the south east and east of England.
They provide over 11,000 homes and management services for around 25,000 people in a variety of tenures, from rented and part-owned homes to owner-occupiers.
Aldwyck offer specialist support and accommodation for young people, those with disabilities and older people. They also build properties for market sale and are the Government appointed Help to Buy agents for London.
Aldwyck has Customer Service Excellence accreditation and Investors in People Silver, and you can find out more about them by visiting their website www.aldwyck.co.uk
Why are we considering joining Aldwyck Housing Group?
Our rent income has been cut for a four year period whilst changes in the housing market have led to some of our other streams of income beginning to dry up. This loss of revenue makes it harder for us to provide the levels of service expected and has restricted the amount of work we have been able to do in the supply of new housing to this area.
We want to provide the best possible services to you whilst helping provide new affordable housing for those in housing need.
We believe that by joining with Aldwyck Housing Group we can:
• improve and expand services to you and ensure they offer value for money
• release more funding for much needed housing in Cambridgeshire
• have a stronger voice in the region to create new opportunities for homes and communities
• attract and retain quality staff
• increase financial strength and make efficiency savings
These things will not happen immediately and they are our long-term goals.
However, by merging with Aldwyck we hope to achieve some shorter-term benefits for residents. In particular, we hope that you will see early on a benefit in terms of the housing management service you receive and the wider opportunities which being part of a larger housing Group will bring.
King Street and Aldwyck are long established organisations and share the ambition to be providers of quality housing and services.
Aldwyck has a small presence in Cambridgeshire and wants to expand upon this and invest in new homes in the area.
There is a good geographical fit which will see King Street taking on the management of a further 200 homes in the area and being the management organisation for any new properties in the area.
Representatives from the Boards of both King Street and Aldwyck are meeting on a regular basis to consider the future of operations in Cambridge once King Street joins Aldwyck.
Aldwyck has a wholly-owned subsidiary that delivers repair and maintenance services called Connect Property Services. Connect will provide the repairs to your homes, which we expect will improve the service you receive.
What is a Transfer of Engagements?
A Transfer of Engagements is a form of merger where the assets and liabilities of one organisation become vested in another organisation. In effect, Aldwyck Housing Group would “step into the shoes” of King Street Housing’s business which would no longer exist as a separate entity.
Are there any disadvantages to the proposal?
King Street Housing would disappear as an organisation, but the brand will be retained. The existing Staff will continue to deliver services from the King Street Office. We appreciate that many King Street Housing residents would be sorry to see the loss of the Society’s independence. However, we consider that the proposal is in the best interests of residents given the financial challenges King Street would face if it tried to continue as a separate organisation.
What are the costs associated with the merger?
The transfer of engagements will inevitably involve initial staff time and external advisors’ costs. However, we are confident this will be quickly recovered through the savings that a larger, streamlined organisation will achieve. Residents will bear none of the costs of the transfer of engagements which will be absorbed by Aldwyck and King Street and the savings made in the longer term will mean we are able to improve and add to the services residents benefit from, and build more affordable homes.
Will my tenancy/lease or rights change?
No. Your tenancy/lease and your security of tenure will not change as a result of a transfer of engagements. Aldwyck will step into the shoes of King Street
If you have any questions, comments or concerns about these proposals complete and return the form that we recently sent to you or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, by 8th January 2018