The proposed merger with Bromford has been given the go-ahead by the Board at Severn Vale Housing this week.
The board’s decision to approve the merger paves the way for the final stage in the creation of the new 44,000-home landlord in early January 2019. The new organisation, which will retain the Bromford name, will employ 1,800 staff supporting the 100,000 people who live in its homes across the Midlands and West of England.
Severn Vale chief executive Tim Knight said he was delighted by the board’s decision.
“This is fantastic news for our customers and for colleagues,” he said. “By joining Bromford, we can play a central role in Gloucestershire’s ambitious plans to develop more homes for social housing, and our customers will be able to build a closer, more positive relationship with us as landlords through Bromford’s neighbourhood coaching approach.”
Bromford chief executive Philippa Jones added: “We’re delighted that Severn Vale will be joining our organisation in the new year. Severn Vale’s operating area is in an area where we already have a significant presence as a landlord and developer and which will be increasingly important for our future growth. This merger strengthens our leading position in Gloucestershire, and will allow us to offer even more to the communities and stakeholders we are already working with.
“Both the Bromford and Severn Vale boards are confident that this merger will create an even stronger organisation that will be able to build even more new affordable homes over the next ten years to help tackle the housing crisis.”
Earlier in the year, South Gloucestershire-based Merlin Housing Society entered into a partnership with Bromford. And Severn Vale will be joining the Bromford Group by merging with Merlin in January 2019. This means that existing Severn Vale customers will become Merlin tenants or leaseholders.
All Severn Vale customers will shortly receive a letter outlining the changes, although customers will see little change in their day-to-day contact with the organisation. Customers’ tenancies and the amount of rent they pay will not be affected by the merger. Any changes to rent or service charges will be in line with existing tenancy agreements or leases and customers can continue to pay these and report repairs in the same way they do now. Once the merger has been completed customers will also be able to report a repair in the same way they do now, using their online account, LiveChat on the website or by calling 01684 272727.
The merger will increase the number of homes Bromford owns in central and south western England to almost 44,000, including 12,000 in Gloucestershire. And over the next ten years Bromford will be aiming to grow this through an ambitious development programme that will invest £1.5bn to build 15,000 new homes, with around half of these planned for Gloucestershire.