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Home » News » Proposed consolidation of Severnside Housing (“Severnside”), Stafford & Rural Homes (“SARH”) and South Staffordshire Housing Association Limited (“SSHA”) and the re-naming of SSHA.

Proposed consolidation of Severnside Housing (“Severnside”), Stafford & Rural Homes (“SARH”) and South Staffordshire Housing Association Limited (“SSHA”) and the re-naming of SSHA.

Dear Resident 

Proposed consolidation of Severnside Housing (“Severnside”), Stafford & Rural Homes (“SARH”) and South Staffordshire Housing Association Limited (“SSHA”) and the re-naming of SSHA.  

The Housing Plus Group Limited is currently considering simplifying how the subsidiary housing associations in the Group operate.   

The Group has, at present, three landlords who provide similar services.  In practice they are run in very similar ways: for example, they each have the same board of directors and share a number of strategies and policies already.  We believe that by bringing together the three landlord organisations, Severnside, SSHA and SARH, we will become a more effective and efficient housing organisation.    

This letter and the attached ‘Your Questions Answered’ document tell you about what we are proposing and why, and importantly you have the opportunity to have your say.  

All our tenants or leaseholders (which includes shared owners) are tenants and leaseholders of one of the three associations.

What we are proposing is as follows:  

  1. Severnside and SARH would merge with SSHA by what is called a Transfer of  Engagements (TOE) which is just a legal method of merging housing associations.  

  1. At the same time, SSHA will change its name to Homes Plus Limited.  

  1. This would then create one landlord, SSHA (renamed Homes Plus Limited) for  all our residents.  

We are sharing our intentions with you here and giving you more information about what this means for you.  We would like your views and feedback, so please read this letter carefully.  

 

Why are Housing Plus Group looking to consolidate the landlord organisations? 

We believe that simplifying the current group structure will save money, create a more streamlined organisation and avoid duplication of work and governance structures i.e. the number of boards, committees and so on currently needed to run the organisation.  

In turn, this will also allow us to make savings which we can then reinvest in new housing and improving our existing homes and services.  

There are fewer sources of funding for housing associations than used to be the case, but the demand for affordable housing continues to rise. Making savings and efficiencies is therefore more important than ever.  

 

What does it mean for you? 

If it goes ahead, the TOE would mean that current residents of Severnside and SARH would have a change of landlord.  SSHA (to be re-named Homes Plus Limited) will become the new landlord.  

The TOE would not have any effect on your tenancy or lease: your legal rights and the terms of your tenancy or lease would remain unchanged - all that would happen is that your landlord would become SSHA.  

If you are already a resident of SSHA, your landlord would remain the same, but SSHA will be renamed as Homes Plus Limited.  

All members of the Group are registered providers of social housing so there will be no change here if the consolidation proceeds.  

In summary, if this proposal goes ahead and you are currently a resident of Severnside and SARH, your landlord will change but you would not see any other changes in the short term.   

  • There will be no changes in the staff who manage your home.   

  • All your legal rights would be protected including the preserved right to buy, if you  already have that right.   

  • The services you receive will not change but, in the longer term, we anticipate being  able to bring improvements to those services as a result of the consolidation.   

Current residents of SSHA would also see no changes to staff or the services you currently receive. 

 

About this consultation 

We are carrying out this consultation with our residents in line with the Standards issued by the Regulator of Social Housing and in accordance with any right of consultation set out in your tenancy agreement.  Your feedback will be shared with the Severnside, SARH, SSHA and Housing Plus Group Boards and they will take it into account before making any decision to proceed with the proposals.  All residents will be informed of the final decision.  

How can you have your say?

This letter forms our consultation with you, and we welcome your questions and feedback. The consultation period lasts until 25 July 2021. We need to have received comments from you by then in order to take them into account.

Your feedback is important to us should you wish to tell us anything about the changes that are being proposed. You can let us know your views:

  1. Write to us at Freepost SSHA - for the attention of The Company Secretary;
  2. Email us via consult@housingplusgroup.co.uk
  3. Call us on 0300 300 0059 (Severnside), 01785 312000 (SSHA) or 0800 111 4554 (SARH);
  4. Fill in the feedback form on our website.

Attached to this letter is a list of questions and answers that will give you more information.  It is important to us that the proposed changes do not cause you to worry.  Please contact us if there are any questions you may want to ask that we have not answered in this letter. 
 

What happens next? 

Once the consultation with residents is complete, we will feed back to you on the Housing Plus Group website about the Boards’ decisions and the next steps if the decision is taken to proceed.  
 

Yours sincerely   

Irene Molyneux 
Company Secretary