Cairn and ANCHO announce partnership discussions

Cairn ANCHOCairn Housing Association and ANCHO are formally exploring the establishment of a constitutional partnership which will have a total of 4200 homes under management across 22 local authorities.

The partnership proposal, which was agreed by the ANCHO Board last night, would increase the financial and business resilience of the combined organisations and would put in place an important new housing group in the Scottish sector.

Cairn Housing Association operates in communities throughout Scotland and manages over 3,500 homes under management while ANCHO owns and manages 676 houses mainly in Ayrshire.

Subject to the outcome of the due diligence and approval of the detailed business case, it is anticipated that the partnership will bring considerable additional investment in improvements to ANCHO properties, including energy efficiency measures and early replacement of kitchens and bathrooms.

The partnership also offers the potential capacity for building much needed new homes in Ayrshire, a continued local service based in the community and a guarantee to ensure rents remain affordable.

Advantages of the potential partnership to Cairn tenants will include a greater capacity to improve performance and quality of services, greater borrowing capacity for the new group to fund more new build homes and the ability for Cairn to continue to reduce overhead costs over a larger stock base and ensure affordable rents and better value for money.

The organisation will also enjoy the benefits of ANCHO’s skills and experience in community development work and success in securing external funding for local projects.

Pending approval, Cairn said the partnership will see it emerge as a stronger organisation with greater financial resilience to ensure a secure future in an uncertain economic climate.

In a joint statement, ANCHO chair, Jackie Brown, and Cairn’s chair, Simon Guest, they said: “This is a positive and voluntary partnership proposal driven by shared ambitions for high quality of service, achieving value for money and more investment in existing homes and new developments. This prospective partnership is an exciting venture where we are choosing to explore the tangible benefits to tenants of pooling skills and resources. This will create better services, keep rents affordable and create the capacity to do more for our customers and local communities.

“Both organisations are financially strong, with good performance and high standards of governance. Both Associations have distinct histories and strengths and we both feel that there is a real opportunity to jointly create something that is great for our current tenants and future customers.”

In a joint statement from Cairn’s chief executive Jason MacGilp and ANCHO’s director, Elaine Gibson, they added: “Cairn is an ambitious housing organisation with a clear vision to deliver great homes and great services, with great people. Cairn works with communities across Scotland to achieve a positive impact on the quality of lives of customers. Similarly, ANCHO, based in North Ayrshire, has an ambitious vision to continue creating thriving communities and excellent levels of customer service.

“Our shared vision and core values and focus on benefits to tenants are closely aligned, which gives confidence about the cultural fit and shared approach for the prospective partnership.”

There will be full consultation with ANCHO’s and Cairn’s tenants over the coming months and the proposed partnership will depend upon regulatory approval, Board approvals, lender consents and a positive outcome of a ballot of ANCHO tenants by summer next year.

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