William Eichler 07 April 2016

Housing association merger will create country's 'largest provider of affordable homes'

Three housing associations have entered into merger talks and together will build 100,000 new homes across London and the South East.

The merger between L&Q, The Hyde Group and East Thames will mean an overall investment of £25bn over the next ten years into housing, and will enable them to build 35,000 more homes than they could have achieved alone.

25,000 affordable new homes will be set aside for first time buyers and 25,000 new homes will be for affordable rent, making the new organisation the largest provider of affordable homes in the country.

The remaining 50,000 new properties will be for market rent and sale.

The merged housing associations, worth an estimated £30bn together, will also be responsible for managing 135,000 homes.

Within five years, it is estimated the new organisation will be able to make £50m a year in efficiency savings through combining back office functions, investment in IT, flexible working, growth through development and combined purchasing power in procurement.

A new training academy, with a £5m a year increase in investment over existing training budgets, will also be created.

In addition to this, a large care and support subsidiary will be set up to take in supported housing from all three partners and to invest in a new offer for vulnerable and older people.

There will also be £250m over and above current spending levels set aside for community investment.

Elaine Bailey, chief executive of The Hyde Group, said: 'We are stronger together - more financially capable of delivering and managing our stock than we are apart.

'Every penny that we make will be invested back into the services we deliver and into building much needed homes.'

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