All change at Wishaw & District as transfer to Trust completes
Wishaw & District Housing Association has completed its transfer of engagements to Trust Housing Association following approval from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The transfer, which took place on 1 December 2019, means that Trust is now responsible for the homes and services that were provided previously by Wishaw & District.
The FCA’s registration of the transfer was the final step required to bring the two organisations together following a year-long period of joint working to develop and consult on the proposal. Wishaw & District’s tenants voted overwhelmingly in favour of the transfer in a tenant ballot that was held over August/ September. Shareholding members of the Association subsequently voted to approve the transfer at two Special General Meetings that were held in October.
Wishaw & District said the transfer will involve Trust delivering faster and increased investment in tenants’ homes and the environment. Trust will also implement a rent freeze for the first three years followed by a further five-year rent guarantee for tenants. Services will continue to be delivered locally by the popular front line staff team and a new local area committee will oversee delivery of the transfer promises and shape local services.
Trust will also deliver new homes on the Main Street, Wishaw site that has long been a local blight, as well as investigating opportunities to build other new affordable homes for the many people in housing need in the local area.
The transfer also brings an end to the Scottish Housing Regulator’s statutory intervention in Wishaw and District Housing Association.
Julia Mulloy, chairperson at Wishaw & District, said: “A great deal of hard work has been carried out over the past year by the Board of Directors and staff team, supported by Mags Lightbody, the statutory manager appointed by the Scottish Housing Regulator, to get us to this point.
“I would like to express my sincere thanks to everyone involved for this. I would also like to thank Wishaw & District’s tenants, other customers and shareholding members for the positive contribution that they made to the development of the transfer proposal and for their active participation in the consultation and tenant ballot processes.
“This was vital in developing and agreeing a set of transfer promises that will deliver real long term benefits for existing and future tenants.”
Rhona McLeod, chief executive at Trust, added: “I am delighted that we have now been able to successfully conclude the transfer process and I would like to express a warm welcome to Trust to Wishaw & District’s tenants, other customers and staff team. The outcome of the recent tenant ballot with 97% voting in support the transfer provided a clear mandate for change. We are now ready and mobilised to start to deliver on the transfer commitments that we made to the tenants.”
The Scottish Housing Regulator intervened at Wishaw & District Housing Association in February 2017 after it identified serious governance and financial management issues. It appointed a statutory manager and five members to Wishaw & District’s governing body and then increased the number of governing body appointees to eight to support the governing body to deliver the transfer.
Ian Brennan, director of regulation, said: “Wishaw & District’s tenants voted overwhelmingly in favour of the decision to transfer to Trust and we have ended our intervention now that it is complete.
“During our intervention Wishaw & District worked constructively with the statutory manager and appointees to address its governance and financial management issues and to deliver the transfer.
“We will monitor how Trust delivers its commitments to Wishaw & Districts former tenants.”