Ballot on ANCHO ‘Partnership for Investment’ with Cairn to open next week
Under the terms agreed by the ANCHO Board in October 2016, the association will form a partnership with Cairn Housing Association, but maintain its own identity, with services still being delivered by the existing local team in Irvine.
All ANCHO tenants will have the opportunity to vote between 18 May and 15 June after an extensive public consultation process with tenants was completed and the Scottish Housing Regulator granted its permission to proceed to a ballot. Participants will be able to easily vote by post, phone, text message or online.
If tenants vote in favour of the proposal, ANCHO has promised the partnership will bring considerable benefits to tenants, which include:
- Local services from the ANCHO team in Irvine, with support from Cairn.
- £4.5 million in additional investment from the Cairn Group, with hundreds of new kitchens and other home improvements.
- An affordable rent guarantee for five years, with lower rent increases than proposed by a stand-alone ANCHO
- The potential to develop new affordable homes in North Ayrshire
A joint procurement exercise by ANCHO and Cairn paid early dividends when the two Associations announced a new responsive repairs partnership with Rodgers and Johnston in March last year.
Since February representatives from ANCHO and Cairn have been speaking to tenants on their doorsteps and finding a strong majority indicating they are in favour of the proposed partnership. Ballot papers and information on how to vote will be sent out to tenants shortly.
Jackie Browne, chair of ANCHO, said: “Our proposal to our tenants will allow us to keep rents affordable whilst significantly increasing the pace at which we can carry out work to their homes, which includes fitting hundreds of new kitchens and other improvements. Cairn are a great fit for us to work with and they understand the importance of ANCHO maintaining its local presence in Irvine where our staff know all of our tenants well.
“It’s a good offer which will benefit every ANCHO tenant. We urge our tenants to vote yes and back the partnership when voting opens on 18 May.”
The election process is being overseen and managed by the Electoral Reform Society. The question tenants will be asked is ‘Do you agree with ANCHO’s proposal to form a partnership with Cairn Housing Association? YES / NO’.
Local ANCHO tenant, Pauline McKirdy, said: “I’m a member of the ANCHO Tenant Panel and we’ve had many conversations with the staff about the deal with Cairn. I’m voting yes because it’s clear that this way we can have more affordable rent and more money will be spent on upgrades to our homes. I think it’s a good deal for ANCHO tenants.”
Jason MacGilp, chief executive of Cairn, added: “Cairn is a forward-thinking housing association which, like ANCHO, is committed to providing great homes and services to our tenants. From our very first conversations with the ANCHO team, it became clear they would be an ideal partner for us. By working with Cairn, ANCHO will have access to more funds for improvements and to keep rents lower, whilst maintaining their strong local identity and relationship with their tenants.”