Where there are roles duplicated, it appears logical to prune the workforce as is always the case with mergers -- big isn't always best just a cheapest is always best (or worse for that matter).
The comparison to housing is very apt in the current climate of concern about the potential effect on revenue streams when it is thought $millions will be lost with the further onset of welfare changes.
Housing associations are rather worried that income will drop because tenants won't pay what is mistakenly called the 'bedroom tax' (but it is a handy, recognisable, though emotive phrase to use).
Government has proved that people (obviously not Westminster politicians who need ever more public money to survive on, poor dears) chucked off disability benefits by a civil servant and a medical professional (not always a doctor) can survive on tens of pounds less than before.
So it might be relatively easy to live on £14 less (providing you've not been hit by other welfare cuts) -- if that is the amount of the 'bedroom tax'?
Having, not for the first time, digressed, to get back to simon ryans' post -- the merger of housing associations sees many trusted and tenant-sensitive staff replaced by people not accustomed to 'the local vagaries' such as providing a tenant focussed/oriented service rather than a focus on money, money, money.
I know that money is what makes the housing associations tick over and the lower the income drops the less services can be provided but it can be rather galling when corners are being cut and staff and, in some cases, board members/ a select few can go swanning off on expensive away-days whilst the poorest tenants are being given the rough end of the stick by landlords' finance departments.
Replacing service-oriented staff with budget-orientated staff simply gives the impression that tenants are merely the cash cow they used to be with the council -- that does not bode well for the future.
Mergers are, apparently, the way forward for the survival of some housing associations (and some may be getting a bit jittery in case a new rent setting regime caps rent rises at CPI rather than RPI +.5% plus up to £2 weekly -- that'll have a major effect on the national HB bill or its equivalent, business plans and services to tenants?