It has been confirmed that the two housing associations L&Q and East Thames will merge to provide 100,000 new homes in the UK, as they are set to implement a 10-year financial plan which includes a new training academy and a £2.6 billion refinancing package.
The company will be focusing on increasing development through London and the south east, and the new plan means a £250 million community investment fund and £15 billion gross capital expenditure in building new homes, as well as the new academy receiving £5 million a year.
The merging companies have agreed that the Thames Gateway corridor is a long term national priority for growth, and there are also plans in place to continue with the 50% affordable housing through shared ownerships and rent commitment, as well as the creation of a 6,600-home specialist care and support subsidiary which would have an expected annual turnover of £47 million.
Now that L&Q and East Thames have joined forces, it means that together they will own and manage more than 90,000 homes in the UK worth £22 billion, and there will now be an emphasis on strengthening existing relationships and creating new ones too.
L&Q chief executive David Montague become the merger company’s CEO and Yvonne Arrowsmith will resume her role as chief executive of East Thames, whilst Hyde Housing Group who were originally including in plans for a three-way merger have announced that they will instead be teaming up with house builder Hill.
Local communities and residents will also be encouraged to consider construction and housing-related careers to support the house building programme through the newly created academy, and despite the main area of focus lying in the south east, the company has made it clear that they will be willing to expand into other areas of the UK.
So we can look forward to the good things that are set to come from this merger announcement, in what is a big move in the housing industry.