The Thirteen Group is consulting with its tenants ahead of a proposed change to its structure, which would simplify the organisation and its systems and processes for customers.
All residents in the group’s 34,000 homes are being written to and asked for any feedback on the potential merger of the organisations in the group into one single landlord called Thirteen.
The new organisation, which could come into being in April 2017, would produce the largest landlord in the North East, would help safeguard the strength of the organisation and mean less red tape and more flexibility to operate on a streamlined basis.
The move would mean tenants, leaseholders and customers of Erimus Housing, Tees Valley Housing, Housing Hartlepool, Tristar Homes and Thirteen Care and Support would become tenants, leaseholders and customers of Thirteen, with the same rights and responsibilities.
There would be no changes to a customer’s tenancy or lease, or to the services they already receive. Thirteen already has one customer contact centre, one phone number and staff members who deliver services on behalf of Thirteen; none of this would change.
A larger organisation would mean increased financial stability, more spending and bargaining power and financial savings which would fund new and relevant services to benefit customers, boost local communities, and make more improvements to homes and estates. Simplifying the structure would help save £500,000 each year, which could pay for around four environmental improvement schemes or 2,000 individual window replacements.
If approved by a range of stakeholders, the merger would happen by April 2017.
George Garlick, Chair of the Thirteen Group, said: “The Thirteen Group was created to deliver a range of benefits in 2014 from the merger of Fabrick Housing Group and the Vela Group. The restructure is the obvious next step in simplifying the way the organisation is set up and managed and making it even more streamlined and cost effective.
“The new structure would reduce the amount of paperwork and red tape, provide better value for money and free up time to focus on continuing to improve the delivery of core services.
“In practice it would make little or no tangible difference to our customers but working as one landlord would create a strong organisation focused on the key priorities of investing in our homesd and estates, delivering a more effective repairs service, collecting rent to enable services to develop and ensuring home are effectively and efficiently re-let.”
Residents are invited to give their feedback by13th October to onelandlord@thirteengroup.