A north east-based housing association is in advanced talks to take over a Scottish landlord in a deal that will expand the association outside Sunderland for the first time.
Gentoo Group, which owns or manages 30,000 homes, will take over West of Scotland Housing Association, providing the Scottish and English housing regulators approve the deal on 1 April.
The organisations have been in talks since last year to secure an agreement, which will result in WSHA’s 3,000 homes, which are in Glasgow and across the west of the country, coming under Gentoo’s ownership. To date Gentoo, which recorded a deficit of £20.5 million last financial year, only manages homes within Sunderland but has developed homes for sale in other areas. The association declined to comment on the reason for its proposed expansion over the border.
WSHA will continue to exist under its own name and deliver services. The organisation said the move was intended to ‘future-proof’ the business in order to ‘weather the challenging times ahead’.
Duncan McNaught, chief executive of WSHA, said the Scottish Housing Regulator would give its verdict on the proposal at the end of the month.
‘We believe this partnership will develop our business in Scotland and create new and improved strategies to address our tenants’ top priorities,’ he added. ‘The two organisations share similar values and a strong cultural fit and we have joint aspirations around creating sustainable communities and homes that are fit for the future.’
WSHA is one of the largest housing association developers in Scotland, and last year posted a surplus of £821,000. The association added that it carried out consultation with tenants and there was ‘no evidence’ of opposition to the partnership.