Affinity Sutton and Circle Housing Group merger on track

Summary

The Boards of Affinity Sutton and Circle Housing Group have formally agreed to the merger of the two organisations, subject to approval from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), which we expect to be considered in September. Legal completion will take place as soon as practically possible after that.

Chair Designate, Sir Robin Young commented; “We have recently seen the collapse of a number of planned mergers in the sector. Given this I am very pleased that our respective boards have put in place both the formal agreements and the structures to ensure the successful merger of Circle Housing Group and Affinity Sutton.”

Neil Goulden, Deputy Chair Designate added; “We have approached this merger in a diligent manner which has led us to this critical milestone. The Shadow Board and Designate Executive Team are confident that we will play a leading role in building more homes and investing in communities and providing vital help to those who have been failed by the market.”

The proposed new group will:

  • Create a regional structure that ensures we continue to play a major role in our communities through local decision making and close working relationships, while responding to our residents’ desire for more online and self-serve services.
  • Deliver 50,000 homes in the ten years from 2019, making it one of the largest housebuilders in England.
  • Build homes across all tenures and a range of price points with a focus on delivering homes for subsidised rent and low cost home ownership for people in housing need.
  • Lead on major neighbourhood transformation projects, generating support from both local and national government.
  • Through its charitable foundation, become one of the country’s biggest providers of employment services, supporting 4,000 people into work annually.
  • Help 200 young people into apprenticeships each year and support 15,000 children to make a better start in life, for example through partnerships with local schools.

The Boards of Affinity Sutton Group and Circle Housing Group approved a business case to merge in December 2015 and Designate Board and Executive appointments followed in early 2016. Work towards successful merger, including further designate appointments, discussions with stakeholders including funders and resident consultation, has since taken place.

Ends

Notes to Editors:

Affinity Sutton is one of the largest housing associations in the country with a history that dates back more than 100 years. The group owns and manages more than 58,000 homes in over 120 local authorities from Newcastle upon Tyne in the north east to Plymouth in the south west.

Financially robust, as demonstrated by our Aa3 Moody’s issuer rating, our turnover last year was £386m, generating a net surplus of £145m for investment in new homes. In 2015/2016 we completed 1,041 homes last year through our award winning development programme and the social value of our community investment programme was £70m. This programme supported more than 1,000 residents into work last year including more than 100 apprenticeships.

Circle Housing Group is one of the UK's largest providers of affordable housing with over 70,000 properties across the country. Our nine housing association partners provide desirable homes, sustainable communities and trusted services to around 200,000 customers.

Our specialist provider Centra offers a range of support services to around 100,000 customers, including telecare and home care, as well as a choice of housing options including shared ownership and market rent.

By acting with a business head and social heart, together we achieve our mission to enhance life chances by helping people to fulfil their potential and live better, more independent lives.

For more information please contact:

Lisa James, Head of External Communications at Affinity Sutton on 020 7378 5554 or email lisa.james@affinitysutton.com

Or

Circle Housing press office on 0845 234 0824 or email pressoffice@circle.org.uk