Published - 14 December 2017
We believe that joining together will be an exciting and positive move for residents and colleagues, as well as for London and the south east more widely. But, we appreciate that some of you will be concerned. That’s not unusual when things change.
Please be reassured:
- Rents and service charges will not go up because of the merger – any changes will be in line with your current tenancy agreement or lease
- Tenancy or lease agreements will not change because of the merger
- No-one will be asked to move home because of the merger
No-one will be worse off due to our proposed merger. Rather, we believe it will help us build more homes, create stronger communities and give more low-income families a secure place to live.
Building on our past: how we'll retain our social purpose
Both NHH and Genesis were founded in response to homelessness and poor living conditions. We’ve always been innovative and forward-thinking organisations. Our growth over the decades has given tens of thousands of people a place to call home. We won’t stop now. It’s vital we don’t rest on our laurels, but continue to give future generations the same opportunities.
Our staff have always been at the heart of our communities, and we want our merger to enhance those links. Whether it’s supporting residents to claim the correct benefits, getting involved in community events, or just being there for a resident to talk to in times of need, our relationship with those who live in our homes goes beyond bricks and mortar. That relationship has always been important for our colleagues and residents and it will remain so for Notting Hill Genesis.
We’ll also retain our shareholder structure. Many of our shareholders have been involved with us for years, even decades, and we want to ensure that their shared traditions and values, which go back more than 50 years, continue to influence how we work in the future.
Protecting our present: improving services to residents
For many residents, the merger will mean that the name of your landlord will change to Notting Hill Genesis. But your rent and service charges will not go up because of the merger, your tenancy or lease agreement will not change because of the merger, and you won’t be asked to move home because of the merger.
Our merger is about providing more homes for families who need them and better services for those who already live in our properties. We know we don’t get everything right, but we’re committed to improving our services. That will include giving greater access to digital services for those who prefer to self-serve, meaning that residents will be able to deal with us how they want and when they want. We’ll also make significant investment in cyclical and planned works, alongside a review of our repairs and maintenance services.
We’ll continue to involve residents and seek their views as we develop our improvement plans together.
Securing our future: more homes for London and the South East
We believe our merger is essential for us to continue to provide more homes at a reasonable cost for ordinary people looking for a place to live. Although we would both strive to continue to build more new homes and provide better and more modern services for existing residents as separate organisations, the reality is that we can do far more together and truly influence and implement change for the better.
Strong housing associations are the natural partners for local authorities who share a common goal of providing housing to those who need it. As a merged entity we’ll be able to build at least 400 extra homes a year than we would separately. That may not seem a huge amount in the wider context of the housing crisis, but for the families who will live in those homes, it will mean the world. We’ve both already signed strategic partnerships with the Mayor of London pledging 60 per cent affordable housing across our pipelines up to 2021. We’re committed to providing homes for those who need them and the GLA will be holding us to account to ensure we do so.
Being of a sufficient scale to partner with the public sector is essential, but isn’t something either Notting Hill Housing or Genesis can guarantee alone. Pooling our resources allows a greater focus on addressing the housing crisis. Being bigger is also important if our voice is to be heard. As an association based in our communities, close to our residents, Notting Hill Genesis will always fight hard for more resources, more rights and a better understanding of local issues.
It’s increasingly difficult to produce social and affordable housing with limited government grants, but by continuing to use surpluses generated by our commercial activities to plough back into our core social purpose, we can ensure we create the right mix of Notting Hill Genesis homes – and do our bit to tackle the housing crisis in London and the south east.