Two housing providers set to join forces

Two leading housing providers from the north east have announced plans to consult with tenants on a proposed merger.

The Bernicia Group and Four Housing Group started discussion earlier this year to look at opportunities that sharing expertise, resources and costs could deliver.

Ian Armstrong, chairman of Bernicia, said: “Initial discussions have been extremely positive and there is a clear geographical and cultural fit between the organisations.

“This provides an opportunity for us to come together to manage risks, deliver services with greater efficiency and in doing so produce an organisation that is stronger than the sum of the two individual parts.”

Bill Worth, chairman of Four housing, said: “Both organisations have much in common in relation to vision, values, culture and business aims.

“We feel that a merger would deliver positive outcomes for tenants and customers, it will enable us to continue to build homes to help meet existing and newly emerging need, to continue to deliver excellent services and to do more to support the communities where we work.”

The merged Housing Group would be one of the region’s largest, owning and managing 14,000 social homes and providing services to a further 13,000 private owners.

Over the coming months consultation with tenants and stakeholders will be undertaken and proposals developed that will strengthen ties with local partners, deliver better value for customers and maximise the social benefit that can be delivered.