West of Scotland Housing Association ends partnership with Gentoo Group

Lynne Donnelly

Lynne Donnelly

West of Scotland Housing Association (WSHA) has officially ended its partnership with Sunderland based housing association Gentoo Group after new rules were introduced by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The partnership agreement with Gentoo officially started on 1 April 2013 following approval from the Scottish Housing Regulator as well as an overwhelming vote by WSHA members.

However new rules for WSHA registered by the FCA on October 17th has legally ended the partnership.

The regulatory body’s decision concluded a lengthy demerger process which included approval from the Scottish Housing Regulator and a ballot of over 3,500 WSHA tenants. 42% of tenants voted in the ballot, and of those voting, 96.7% voted in favour of ending the partnership.

As an independent housing association, WSHA will now have full control over its decision making and can improve how tenant views are used to shape services.

WSHA chief executive officer, Lynne Donnelly, said: “Over the 18 months, the Board of WSHA and the Gentoo Group Board have jointly reviewed the partnership and concluded that it was in the best interests of both organisations and our tenants to end the partnership.

“Initially there were a number of positive benefits of partnering with a larger housing association but since then, there has been significant change to the external operating environment which has impacted on the partnership.

“As an independent housing association WSHA will be able to focus on all our communities and deliver a more localised service to tenants, including building 500 new affordable homes over next five years.”