Wishaw & District Housing Association announces preferred partner

Wishaw & District Housing Association (WDHA) has announced the preferred organisation with whom it has agreed to pursue a merger through a transfer of engagements.

Trust Housing Association was chosen ahead of other candidates with Cairn Housing Association and Link Group, who were all shortlisted by WDHA in November.

Wishaw & District Housing Association announces preferred partner

WDHA chair Brenda Higgins

WDHA said the merger with Trust will achieve greater security for tenants over rent levels; an acceleration of the investment required to maintain WDHA tenants’ homes and estates; and a continuation of locally delivered services from an office based in Wishaw.

The choice of Trust follows a strategic review earlier this year, into the future options for WDHA by the Board. That review concluded that it was in the best interests of the tenants and other service users for WDHA to merge through a ‘transfer of engagement’ with another association, subject to confirmation via the tenants’ ballot and approval by the WDHA membership at a special general meeting.

It has involved a robust selection process that has included reviews and assessments by WDHA resident involvement team, staff and board members.

Speaking about the decision, Brenda Higgins, WDHA chairperson, said: “Trust HA has engaged well with our residents and staff and the result is that we are confident that this transfer of engagements will produce an even stronger local housing organisation, offering a wider range of services to tenants and other service users. Everyone will benefit.

“Trust’s experience of providing additional support and specialised housing services, will benefit our tenants who need this. Equally, WDHA will contribute by using its experience of providing quality services to tenants living in mainstream social housing and to residents that receive factored services.”

The staff and resident representatives fully endorse this partner selection. The resident involvement Team said: “We are very pleased to have been involved in the partner selection process. We feel that Trust HA offers the best fit with WDHA because of their commitment to resident participation and scrutiny and enthusiasm to meet the needs of Wishaw & District tenants and residents in the future.”

Trust’s chair, Heather Pearson, said: “We are delighted WDHA have chosen us to be their partner. Working together we will combine the strengths, capabilities and traditions of WDHA and Trust, creating a stronger organisation which can deliver a thriving future for all tenants and staff.”

A series of formal consultations with tenants, other service users and stakeholders will begin in early 2019, with a formal WDHA tenants’ ballot planned for the summer. A transfer of engagements will only take place if the majority of tenants voting in a formal ballot agree to it and WDHA members vote in favour of it at a special general meeting.

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