A Scottish housing association has told its tenants it will build 1,000 new homes by 2025 if plans for a proposed merger are given the go-ahead.
Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership (DGHP) said it will increase its development pipeline from 250 homes to 1,000 homes if it joins with Wheatley Group, Scotland’s largest social landlord.
In July, DGHP announced it had chosen Wheatley as its preferred merger partner after considering proposals from three housing associations.
At 10,338 homes, DGHP is Scotland’s second-largest housing association and would be the largest organisation to join Wheatley since the group was established in 2012.
DGHP also guaranteed residents it would cap annual rent increases across all properties at 2% if they were to approve the merger.
Currently, DGHP’s business plan assumes rents would rise 3.75% next year and 3% for the following two years.
In 2018, the Scottish Regulator published a regulation plan for DGHP after the association made it aware of a potential breach of the code of conduct by one of its senior members of staff.
A revised engagement plan was published in July after DGHP announced its potential merger with Wheatley.
Since 2014, Scottish landlords have been required by law to ballot tenants when entering into mergers such as these, called ‘constitutional partnerships’, in which the subsidiary landlord retains its name and chief executive.
There are currently six associations who are members of the Wheatley Group: Glasgow Housing Association, Dunedin Canmore, Cube Housing Association, West Lothian Housing Partnership, Loretto Housing and Barony.
Bill Robertson, chair of the board at DGHP, said: “Working in partnership with Wheatley we will be able to do so much more for our tenants and their families.
“The board firmly and unanimously believes this partnership would be not only a good thing for tenants, but good for Dumfries and Galloway.”
Elaine Melrose, group director of resources at Wheatley, said: “We are not just about bricks and mortar: our staff are passionate about making the homes and lives of the people we work for better.
“We do this by being rooted in communities and listening to and involving our customers in everything we do.”