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Merger between North East-based Isos Housing, Cestria Community Housing and Derwentside Homes on the cards

Three North East social landlords are to merge to form a region-wide organisation with more than 23,000 homes, having secured conditional approval from the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA).

Newcastle-based Isos Housing, its group partner Cestria Community Housing and County Durham-based Derwentside Homes, plan to start trading as one organisation, yet to be named, this April.


The new organisation, which is expected to generate £114 million per year, would have the capacity to build more than 1,350 homes in the next five years. It is expected to deliver minimum net savings of £3 million per annum from the fourth year of the new organisation operating.


The merger talks have taken place over several months, followed by a period of consultation with all the landlords’ residents. All parties have made rigorous legal and financial checks before confirming their commitment to the merger process and each association needs to hold a special general meeting before the end of February, to seek the formal approval of their shareholders.


They will also be consulting with their lenders, to seek approval of the arrangements for the new landlord, and then requesting final approval from the Homes and Communities Agency.


Paul Fiddaman, group chief executive of Isos Housing Group, said: “We believe that this move will establish us as a strong regional organisation, positioning us as a natural partner for delivering housing solutions for the North East region.


“This is a hugely exciting opportunity. It is clear that we are like-minded organisations, with a great deal in common and many complementary strengths.


“Coming together will further raise our presence and profile, building on the successful partnership between Isos and Cestria.”


Geraldine Kay, chief executive of Derwentside Homes, added: “Derwentside Homes were keen to select a partner that shared our ambitions to co-create a new and exciting future. Together with Isos Housing Group, we will be much stronger to not only weather the many challenges ahead but to seize new opportunities so that we continue to deliver innovative housing solutions and services and build on our collective success.”


The partners are keen for the new organisation to harness the success of Derwentside Homes in developing innovative market rent products through its commercial arm Prince Bishops Homes. There is also an appetite to benefit from Isos’ expertise in a range of corporate services, and from the opportunities presented by Isos Complete Support, the group’s cost sharing vehicle.


The next stage of the proposed merger involves the partners working up their new structure and appointing the new organisation’s executive team.

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