Sunday, 25 September 2016

Housing association to swap stock and switch focus

A south west housing association is to drastically reduce the number of areas it works in as part of an overhaul to save £1.2 million a year.

The Arcadia Housing Group, which consists of Knightstone Housing Association and commercial arm Arc Developments, is aiming to reduce the number of local authority areas KHA works in from 37 to 9. KHA is aiming to focus on the west of England and Somerset and is in talks with other housing associations about swapping stock.

It hopes to transfer its 650 homes in Wiltshire and Swindon to another association by April 2012 and hopes to transfer a further 700 homes in Dorset and Hampshire by April 2013. Most of these properties were developed by KHA in the 1990’s.

The association will instead pick up stock in the west of England and Somerset, where 70 per cent of its homes currently are.

KHA hopes the move will leave the organisation owning or managing 11,000 homes, the same as currently.

Nick Horne, chief executive of KHA, said: ‘This will enable us to be a big regional player but with a local focus.’

Mr Horne says the restructure, which will also see six offices close and 11 posts axed, will save £1.2 million a year to be reinvested in services.

The organisation aims to build 1,500 new homes over the next five years. It has 400 homes under construction, hopes to build 900 through the Homes & Communities Agency’s affordable homes programme and plans to build a further 200 by using its own funds.

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