We believe our proposed merger is essential for us to continue to provide more homes at a reasonable cost for ordinary people looking for a place to live. Although we would both strive to continue to build more new homes and provide better and more modern services for existing residents as separate organisations, the reality is that we can do far more together and truly influence and implement change for the better.
Strong housing associations are the natural partners for local authorities who share a common goal of providing housing to those who need it. As a merged entity we’ll be able to build at least 400 extra homes a year than we would separately. That may not seem a huge amount in the wider context of the housing crisis, but for the families who will live in those homes, it will mean the world. We’ve both already signed strategic partnerships with the Mayor of London pledging 60 per cent affordable housing across our pipelines up to 2021. We’re committed to providing homes for those who need them and the GLA will be holding us to account to ensure we do so.
Being of a sufficient scale to partner with the public sector is essential, but isn’t something either Notting Hill Housing or Genesis can guarantee alone. Pooling our resources will allow a greater focus on addressing the housing crisis. Being bigger is also important if our voice is to be heard. As an association based in our communities, close to our residents, Notting Hill Genesis will always fight hard for more resources, more rights and a better understanding of local issues.
It’s increasingly difficult to produce social and affordable housing with limited government grants, but by continuing to use surpluses generated by our commercial activities to plough back into our core social purpose, we can ensure we create the right mix of Notting Hill Genesis homes – and do our bit to tackle the housing crisis in London and the south east.