GreenSquare Merger Update

GreenSquare Merger Update
We are delighted to announce that following last week’s meetings of the Accord and GreenSquare Boards, both organisations have agreed to continue partnership discussions to lead to potential merger in 2021. 

The decision was made following a detailed period of due diligence work and extensive customer consultation and engagement which found there is substantial backing from customers for the proposed merger.

This marks the beginning of an exciting period as we now look in detail at the great opportunities that a merger could help us achieve for our customers and the communities with whom we work.

Combined our organisations will have the scale and capacity to build hundreds more new homes each year, we will be able to increase available resource for investment in our existing homes and we shall be able to increase the breadth of our services such as care and support, building for sale, community–led housing and modern methods of construction.  We will also be able to widen our overall offer to customers.

This is a significant milestone in the process, and marks a very exciting time for both Accord and GreenSquare as we start to look in more detail at how our two housing associations could form a successful merger and create a new organisation with a larger geography but one that enhances a truly locally based approach to customers and services.

Your questions answered

Thank you to everyone who has taken the opportunity to provide us with feedback or ask additional questions. Below are the answers to the commonly asked questions.

Will this mean an increase in rent?

The proposed merger won’t affect your rent or service charge or how you pay. The charges you pay would continue to be reviewed as they are at the moment, in line with your current tenancy agreement or lease.

Will it be ok?

We have looked carefully at the consequences of this proposal and through a process known as ‘due diligence’ we will ensure that the merger will be of no detriment to Accord and its customers. There is strong indication that a merger would make good business sense and will result in the long-term benefits, including improving services for existing customers; investing in more in local communities and building more affordable homes.

Would we have the right to buy the property under the merger?

If you already have the right to buy, you would not lose the right and you will continue to be able to exercise the right in the same way as before.

Why does bigger mean better?

By combining our resources we believe the new, larger housing association would be better placed to improve services to customers, invest in more local communities and build more new affordable homes. Some examples of how bigger can mean better, include having access to more specialist staff across the two organisations - combining some our purchases to enable us to get better value for some products we purchase, and sharing best practice. 

Will phone numbers stay the same?

Phone numbers would remain the same for some time. You can continue to contact us as you do now, by phone, email or via the website.

Why is Accord looking to merge with GreenSquare?

We are in discussions with GreenSquare because we believe that they share the same values and ambitions for expanding and enhancing locally-focused services to customers. GreenSquare is based in Chippenham and owns and manages 12,000 homes in Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire. Its focus is on providing homes and landlord services for those who cannot afford to meet their housing needs in the open market; building new homes for sale helps fund more social homes and improved services.

Who would customers report repairs to?

Services will continue to be delivered in the same way by the same people – and you’ll continue to get in touch with us as you do at the moment, by phone, by email or via the website.

Would this open up more jobs?

We are regularly recruiting for people to work at Accord. If you are interested in finding out more about our latest vacancies please take a look at our jobs page.

Who would my landlord be if these two organisations merge?

Legally your landlord will not change, as the proposed structure is GreenSquare transferring into Accord. It is likely we will create a new name, but this would not affect your tenancy or lease. Your legal rights and the terms and conditions of your tenancy or lease would remain unchanged.

Will the new housing association open up more houses to transfer to?

The Accord and GreenSquare operating areas link together geographically (Midlands, through to Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, across into Herefordshire and Wales and south to Wiltshire). Customers of the new organisation would have access to homes and services within this expanded area.

When will the merger be active?

It will take a few more months to complete the process, we would expect things to be finalised late spring, early summer 2021

Will the service charge I pay change if the merger takes place?

The proposed merger won’t affect your rent or service charge or how you pay. The charges you pay would continue to be reviewed as they are at the moment, in line with your current tenancy agreement or lease.

Will I have to make changes to how I pay my rent - e.g with All Pay or the name on my Direct Debit?

No - no changes are required at the moment. In time we may choose a new name, but we will discuss this with you when that happens. There will be lots of opportunity for tenant groups to get involved in choosing the new name.

Can you invest in the properties you already have, instead of merging and building new homes?

We have a regular investment programme in place and we will continue to invest and maintain our existing properties. We will also continue to build new, affordable homes. Both Accord and GreenSquare are committed to providing more, much needed, secure, affordable homes for people across the country.

How will this benefit owner occupied properties?

It will not affect owner occupied properties. If Accord is your leaseholder, this will continue. The proposed merger won’t affect your rent or service charges or how you pay

What will be the name of the housing association when it merges?

If the decision is made to merge, it is likely that the merged company will choose a new name. There will be lots of work to be done over the coming months on things like this and we will keep all customers informed and let you know ways in which you can be involved.

If the new organisation has a new name, will this affect my housing benefit?

Although we will choose a new name for the new housing association, this will not affect your housing benefit.

Will repairs be managed more efficiently?

By combining our resources we believe the new, larger housing association would be better placed to improve services to customers.

Will this affect the prospect of staircasing?

For Shared Owners, the option to staircase will not be affected by the potential merger.

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