Merger consultation with residents

 

28 June 2022

We recently announced Optivo's proposed merger with Southern Housing Group. We've now written to all residents with more information about this and to request feedback. 

In the letter we explained more about the proposed merger and how residents can share their thoughts and questions.

The deadline for this feedback is Wednesday 20 July 2022. 


Sharing your feedback

To find out more about the proposed merger, please read the information below.

If you're an Optivo resident you can share your feedback via our online form.

Go to our online feedback form

If you prefer you can use the paper form we sent you with the merger letter.


More information about the merger

Optivo is proposing to merge with another housing association called Southern Housing Group. The proposal is that we transfer and combine the two existing organisations into a new single organisation. The new organisation will be a registered provider of social housing with charitable status in the same
way that Optivo and Southern Housing Group are. This new combined entity would become your landlord.

We’d really like to hear what you think about this proposal. Your views are important to us and a summary of what you and other residents say will be given to our Board. Our Board will take into consideration the responses when deciding whether to go ahead with the merger.

Why we’re considering a merger

The Boards of Optivo and Southern Housing Group believe that in these very challenging economic times, we would provide better services to you and other residents by joining forces. That’s because by being a larger single organisation we will be able to be more cost effective in how we operate.
Optivo and Southern Housing Group have similar values and priorities. And we already work alongside each other in many of the same communities. So we believe it makes sense to come together as one housing association.

What the benefits would be for residents

Merger would bring a number of benefits:

  • We’ll have stronger local ties. As a combined organisation, we’d have more staff, services and homes in our communities
  • We’ll be better able to deliver excellent customer services, by investing in digital tools and 24/7 customer contact. This will give you access to more flexible services that suit your needs.
  • Improved repair services by moving more repairs and estate services in-house. By delivering more services ourselves, we’ll have more control over quality and be able to improve how we communicate with you about the progress of works.

This isn’t about becoming a large national housing organisation; it’s about doing what we do better in the communities we already work in. If agreed, Southern Housing Group and Optivo would merge by the end
of 2022.

Your tenancy/lease and legal rights as an Optivo resident

The merger will not change the rights you have in your lease or tenancy, or cause any change to your rent or service charges.

  • The way we set your rent will remain the same and is based on a formula set by the government
  • The way we set service charges will remain the same and is based on actual costs of providing the services

Have your say

We’d really like to know what you think about the proposal to merge with Southern Housing Group and
we’d be pleased to answer any questions you might have.

There are a number of ways you can let us know your views:

  • By email – you can email your comments to Contactus@Optivo.org.uk – please make sure you include the word ‘Merger’ in the subject line.
  • By post – return the feedback form using the FREEPOST envelope we sent you
  • By online form – complete the consultation form online at: www.optivo.org.uk/survey 

We’ll reply to any questions and publish a summary of the consultation results in our resident magazine and on our website after the consultation has closed.

The deadline for responses is Wednesday 20 July 2022. We're keen to hear your views so please get in touch by this date so we can take your views into account.