good to know

Optivo to merge with Southern Housing Group

We’ve announced we’re talking with Southern Housing Group about merging our two organisations.

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We’ve announced we’re talking with Southern Housing Group about merging our two organisations.
Southern Housing Group share a lot of similarities with Optivo. Like us, they have a large number of homes in Kent, Sussex and London, so lots of our colleagues already work side-by-side in many of the same communities. And importantly, they share our focus on resident voice and resident involvement. 

Why merge?

The Boards of Optivo and Southern Housing Group believe that in these challenging times, we could provide better services to residents by joining forces.

  • We’d be able to make more investments in digital services and 24/7 customer contact.

  • Our repairs service would be made more responsive by moving more repairs and estate services in-house

We want your views

It’s also important we hear your views about the proposed merger. We’ll be running consultations with residents. We’ll share more details about how you can get involved with this in the coming weeks.
By coming together to form a larger housing association, there’ll be exciting opportunities to invest in stronger services. Your views will be key to shaping what this could look like.
We’ll also need to design a new resident governance structure for the new organisation. It’ll be an exciting opportunity to shape the future of resident involvement for the new organisation.

What would the new organisation look like?

The new organisation would be called Southern Housing and key leaders would be:

  • Chair designate: Sir Peter Dixon, current chair of Optivo and former chair of the Housing Corporation.
  • Chief Executive designate: Paul Hackett CBE, current chief executive of Optivo
  • Deputy Chief Executive designate: Alan Townshend, current chief executive of Southern Housing Group

What are the next steps?

Following the initial announcement we’ve started careful discussions, financial checks and legal negotiations. We’ll keep you informed as we move through the process and let you know how you can get involved.

Your questions about the merger

We’re still in early discussions but yes your landlord would change to the merged housing association. We’re a long way off providing any detail at this stage.

Resident views will be central to shaping the merger plans. In the coming weeks, we’ll announce dates for resident consultations.

If merger talks are successful, we expect to formally merge in December 2022.

The merger will not impact your rent. Any increases would only be in line with normal increases and changes that Optivo already makes.

We believe in the longer term there may be benefits to leaseholders. We’re at the start of our discussions so at this stage we’re unable to give any specifics.

No, you don’t need to take any action at this stage. We’ll contact you if you need to do anything and to let you know how you can give your views and ideas about the new organisation. 

No customer service contact or repairs details are changing at this stage. Please continue to contact us in the usual ways. We’ll contact you with any planned changes well in advance of them happening.

Please continue to use MyAccount in the usual way. MyAccount won’t be changing at this stage. We’ll contact you with any planned changes well in advance of them happening

The proposed name for the new organisation is Southern Housing.

We’ll become larger but also more local by having more colleagues, services and homes in some of our key communities

We’ll have improved customer service through investment in digital services and 24/7 customer contact. Our repairs service will be made more responsive by moving more repairs and estate services in-house.

Want to know more?

If you've a query about the merger, please email: contactus@Optivo.org.uk

 

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