Strategic review recommends merger for Wishaw and District Housing Association

Brenda Higgins

Wishaw and District Housing Association (WDHA) is to formally consult tenants on plans to merge with another housing association following a strategic review of the organisation.

The association was instructed to carry out a review of the options for its future in March this year following two years of high engagement with the Scottish Housing Regulator.

The review, which followed consultation with tenants, other service uses, staff and key stakeholders, recommended that WDHA merge through a ‘transfer of engagement’ with another association.

In coming to its conclusion, the review looked at three options for the future of the Association; staying independent, joining a group structure or merging with another housing association.

The review found that WDHA has been unable to maintain regulatory standards of governance and leadership and, on the basis of the evidence, is unlikely to be able to do so in the future. For this reason, it concluded that staying independent or joining together with other associations in a group structure would be unsustainable.

Brenda Higgins, chair of the WDHA, said: “While there continue to be high levels of tenant satisfaction and good performance on services such as repairs, we have to accept that the overall governance of the Association remains unsustainable, reliant on ongoing support from a statutory manager and appointees to the Board. We have therefore concluded that a transfer is the best option for tenants and other service users.”

However, WDHA stressed that no change will take place without extensive consultation with tenants, staff and other key stakeholders.

Brenda Higgins added: “Ultimately it will be for tenants to decide on the proposal in a ballot, which will be held next year. We will all be working hard to ensure that any proposal for change is the best possible, responding to the needs and interests of our tenants and other service users.”

The review concluded that a transfer of engagements would allow for improved services and enhanced investment in homes, whilst maintaining affordable rent levels.

To submit an expression of interest in becoming the merger partner click here.

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