Eddie Marley: A response from Reidvale Housing Association

Eddie Marley: A response from Reidvale Housing Association

Eddie Marley, who chairs Reidvale Housing Association’s Management Committee, responds to an opinion piece published by Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations director David Bookbinder regarding Reidvale’s proposed transfer to Places for People Scotland.

We were disappointed to see the negative view shared by the director of Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations (GWSF) on the proposed transfer of ownership of Reidvale Housing Association.

Whilst we respect Mr Bookbinder’s expertise and contribution to Scotland’s housing sector over many years, his piece contained several inaccuracies which could mislead not only our tenants, but our staff, partners, and the wider community in which we exist.

Mr Bookbinder states that Reidvale Housing Association enjoyed a tenant satisfaction rate of 95%. In fact, and without minimising the efforts and sheer hard work of our staff and tenants, the most recent tenant survey showed that, in the three years since the association has been required to be engaged with the Scottish Housing Regulator, the satisfaction rate has fallen by 11% to 84%. We want to change that for the better, but to do so we need to face the reality of Reidvale’s situation. It is for that reason that we are engaged with Places for People Scotland in a customer consultation.

We made it clear in previous correspondence with the chairperson of GWSF that the future of Reidvale Housing Association is a matter for its tenants and other key stakeholders. We find the latest interference concerning, not least because we have ended our membership of GWSF.

Through an open and competitive process, we now have a detailed offer from Places for People Scotland (the trading name for Castle Rock Edinvar Housing Association). The offer is publicly available, and we welcome scrutiny of it by our tenants. We feel confident we have secured a fantastic offer for our tenants and the bright future they deserve. We have been open and honest about the bleak future Reidvale faces if it stays independent.

We are now in an early-stage consultation with our tenants – it is their decision to make. If they are happy to proceed, we will appoint Places for People Scotland as our preferred transfer partner and progress with further consultation and due diligence. This is not a decision on the transfer taking place, just early support from tenants to let us, with the proposed partner, start working intensively with our tenants and the wider community to shape a final transfer offer that would then be subject to full formal consultation much later in the process.

Our tenants are being supported in this consultation by an independent tenant adviser, The Tenants Information Service. They are providing support for our tenants with questions as well as having direct access to both Reidvale and Places for People Scotland.

This is an important decision for our tenants to make about their own future and community and they should be able to consider the most accurate and up-to-date information from their landlord and prospective partner, supported by advice from TIS, to make their own decision.

GWSF’s governing body and other member organisations will have their own view on this further attempt to undermine the decisions of an independent housing association.

We care deeply about our tenants and the Reidvale community. I would not describe our efforts to deliver the best possible future for them as a ‘farce’.

Share icon
Share this article: