Notting Hill Housing and Genesis Housing Association have agreed in principle to merge, a move that would create one of the country’s largest housing associations.
The boards of both organisations agreed the merger proposal yesterday (Wednesday 19 July), which they felt was the best decision for both businesses, their residents, their shareholders and for London and the South East.
The new organisation, Notting Hill Genesis, will have 54,000 homes across London and 64,000 across London and the South East, half of which will be general needs homes with social or affordable rents.
The new organisation will serve a total of 170,000 residents and be the largest provider of shared ownership tenure in the country.
Financially, this merger will bring together two substantial organisations to make a new and stronger entity. We have combined reserves of £3.1 billion and loan facilities of £3.5 billion. We are generating turnover of about £700m and a net surplus of more than £120 million. This financial strength will enable the delivery of around 2,700 new homes a year, 400 more than would be achievable separately.
Both organisations believe passionately that their shared heritage makes this a good match. Both Notting Hill Housing and Genesis Housing were founded in different forms during the 1960s by people of faith in west London, with the aim of housing the working poor and giving them a secure home with which to build their future.
While both evolved over time, building significant commercial interests and merging with others, the core purpose remains unchanged: to provide quality homes to low income households across London and beyond.
Dipesh J. Shah OBE, from Genesis, is Chair Designate of the new organisation. Paul Hodgkinson, from Notting Hill Housing, had recently extended his term of office to oversee the transition to merger, but never intended to remain past that point.
Kate Davies from Notting Hill Housing has been named Chief Executive Designate, with Elizabeth Froude, currently Genesis Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Director of Resources, being appointed Deputy Chief Executive Designate.
Notting Hill Genesis Chair Designate, Dipesh Shah, said: “Uniting two associations with a common culture, a common vision and an aspiration to enrich their social purpose augurs well for the future of the merged entity. I look forward very much to being part of it and to helping the new organisation on its journey.”
Kate Davies, Chief Executive Designate, said: “Bringing together two housing associations with similar backgrounds, shared values and a strong social purpose will allow us to provide more of the homes London needs, for those who most need them.
“This is an exciting challenge for all of us and I’m very much looking forward to leading this new organisation, which has the will and resources to be even more innovative, ambitious and influential together than we could separately.”
In line with the commitment to a merger of equals, Neil Hadden decided not to apply for the role of Chief Executive (Designate) of Notting Hill Genesis, due to the fact that Dipesh was appointed Chair (Designate). Neil will remain as Genesis Chief Executive until the merger is complete in early 2018.
Genesis Chief Executive Neil Hadden added: “I have always believed that there should be more consolidation within the sector so that our capacity can be utilised better to provide more homes and improved services for our customers. To that end, this merger makes complete sense and I am pleased to have been involved in getting it off the ground. I look forward to continuing to lead Genesis until the merger is complete in early 2018.”
Deputy Chief Executive Designate, Elizabeth Froude, said: "I am very pleased to be taking up this role in what will be a fantastic organisation, built on the legacy of two housing associations with deep and common roots and purpose. We will take the best of both to allow us to continue to deliver a good service to our many and diverse customer groups, in the ever complex environment in which we operate.
"I believe this merger will bring us the resilience to be innovative in how we adapt our services to meet the demands of our current and future customers."