Pentland tenants given chance to vote on transfer to Cairn as formal ballot opens
The formal ballot for Pentland tenants to decide if they want to transfer to Cairn Housing Association has now opened.
Talks between the two organisations resumed towards the end of last year following a Covid-enforced pause to proceedings at the beginning of the first lockdown.
If tenants vote in favour of the proposals, Pentland’s homes and services will transfer to Cairn Housing Association, guaranteeing additional investment in tenants’ homes, alongside a locked-in affordable rent guarantee and continued local services from a combined Cairn and Pentland team in Thurso.
An extensive public consultation exercise was completed over the summer with representatives from Pentland and Cairn speaking to tenants on their doorsteps and finding a strong majority indicating they are in favour of the proposed transfer.
Pentland and Cairn have promised the transfer will bring considerable benefits to tenants, which include:
- Cairn will freeze rents in the first year of the transfer and provide an affordable rent guarantee for the following four years, with lower rent increases than proposed by a stand-alone Pentland
- Cairn will invest £6,300,000 in Pentland’s homes and communities over the next five years, with hundreds of new kitchens and other home improvements guaranteed
- Local services will continue for a new combined Cairn and Pentland team, with new options for getting in touch online. Existing Pentland staff will be protected and will transfer to Cairn
- Cairn will provide financial security and opportunities for new services to Pentland’s tenants by being part of the larger Cairn Housing Group.
Jim Hair, chair of Pentland Housing Association, said: “The Pentland Board is united in urging our tenants to vote ‘yes’ to this transfer to Cairn Housing Association. It is important that every tenant take this opportunity to make their votes count. Our transfer proposals will guarantee lower rent increases whilst significantly increasing the money available for home improvements, all delivered by a new combined Cairn and Pentland team. It is a good offer which will benefit every Pentland tenant.”
Don Jamieson, chair of Cairn Housing Association, said: “Cairn is a forward-thinking housing association which, like Pentland, is committed to providing great homes and services to our tenants. From our very first conversations with the Pentland team, it became clear this was a great opportunity to join forces and expand our services to Caithness and North Sutherland tenants. We are looking forward to meeting with tenants and working with them to deliver on the transfer promises.”
Participants will be able to vote by post, phone, text message or online. The ballot closes on November 2.