Wishaw and District Housing Association - Merger
The Board of Wishaw and District Housing Association has decided to seek a merger with another Registered Social Landlord (RSL).
The Association has been in 'high engagement' with the Scottish Housing Regulator since 2016. Whilst most of the issues which led to this intervention have been resolved, the Association is currently unable to meet the regulatory standard on governance and leadership, relying on the support of Statutory Appointees from the Regulator. This reliance on external support would likely be required over the long-term, something which is not sustainable.
A strategic Review of the Association's position was undertaken by the Regulator's Statutory Manager earlier this year. The review, which followed consultation with tenants, staff and other key stakeholders, recommended that the Association seek a merger with another RSL. 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 Association.
Whilst there continues to be high levels of tenant satisfaction and a high standard on performance of services provided by an excellent staff team, the Board had to accept that the overall governance and leadership of the Association remained unsustainable.
A merger with another Association was believed to be in the best interests of tenants and stakeholders.
What happens next?
The outline plan is that during October 2018, the Association prepares a shortlist of potential partner RSLs from tenders submitted at the beginning of the month. During the autumn the Board, tenant's representatives, and staff consider the potential suitability of each of the shortlisted RSLs, against a criteria informed by all stakeholders. Based on this work the Board will make a decision on a single preferred partner at its meeting on 18th December 2018.
In the new year, WDHA and the preferred partner will discuss in detail how they wish to move forward. Thereafter, a business case will be required to be approved by the Regulator.
Late in the spring we would then be able to consult with tenants ahead of a formal ballot. If tenants approve the proposal, a Special General Meeting of the Association would be convened to approve the merger.
During this time, the Association will be working hard to ensure that any proposal for change is the best possible, and in the interests of tenants and other service users.