DCH and Knightstone are in talks to create a new organisation. The proposed new group would become the South West’s largest housing association with 35,000 properties providing homes for over 70,000 people.
Our Boards have been discussing how each organisation can do more to build much-needed new homes, and to continue to invest in transforming service delivery. Our discussions identified that we both share the same broad aspirations, cultures and values. We would be able to pool our expertise and invest jointly in transforming the way we deliver housing services, achieve value for money and meet our customer needs and aspirations.
The new organisation would have the capacity to develop over 15,000 new homes over the next ten years, making it one of the largest house builders in our region. Together we would build homes across all tenures with a focus on delivering homes for low market rent and low cost home ownership for people in housing need. This would be a vital contribution at a time of significant housing crisis – stepping up our activities to meet the challenges and expectations of the sector and our communities.
Paul Crawford, Chief Executive of DCH added: “It makes every sense for DCH and Knightstone to consider the benefits of an alliance. We have a shared heritage and a uniquely complementary geography in the South West. We also share a desire both to maximise our contribution to the development of more affordable homes and to deliver even better quality and value for money services to our residents.”
Nick Horne, Knightstone’s Chief Executive said: “Both our organisations have long held ambitions to do more, to build more homes and transform the lives of more people. The South West is characterised by high market rents and house prices relative to local incomes which makes living in the region unaffordable to many people. So it’s vital we consider all opportunities to help people in the South West achieve their housing aspirations.
“Our discussions with DCH are an exciting opportunity to create the capacity to do much more than either of us could do on our own”.
Decisions on whether or not to proceed are expected to be taken by both Boards in autumn 2017 with the potential for the merger to take place by summer 2018.
We believe that this proposed merger is an opportunity not to be missed. If it proceeds, the new organisation will have a scale and ambition matched by few, creating unbeatable social value and financial capacity to invest in homes, people and communities in the South West.