Demerger plan announced between English housing associations

Symphony Housing GroupA housing group in the North West of England has agreed terms for one of its member organisations to cut loose and become an independent business.

Symphony Housing Group, which currently consists of six housing associations across the region, and Cobalt Housing have agreed the conditions for the latter’s demerger.

The other group members are Contour Homes, Hyndburn Homes, Liverpool Housing Trust, Peak Valley Housing Association and Ribble Valley Homes.

The group said it is simplifying its management and governance to provide a joint approach to the way it works to “improve standards and make services more consistent”.

“For many years our organisations have worked together to provide local services to meet the needs of the diverse neighbourhoods we work in,” said Dr Neil Goodwin, chair of Symphony’s board.

“Both Symphony and Cobalt remain committed to putting customers first and making sure both organisations are as strong as possible.”

Peter Mitchell, chair of the Cobalt Housing board, said: “The Cobalt Board have worked with Symphony to ensure a positive future for all tenants, and are delighted to have reached an agreement. It shows that by working together that the long term interests of our tenants have been secured. Cobalt is committed to work with our partners to build on our current good performance, to deliver the best possible services to our tenants.”

Bronwen Rapley, chief executive of Symphony Housing Group, added: “Symphony and Cobalt will remain neighbours and partners in the future and will continue to work together to achieve our shared goal of seeing Liverpool and its communities succeed.”

Cobalt Housing provides more than 6,000 homes in the Norris Green, Croxteth and Fazakerley areas of Liverpool. It was created 10 years ago with the transfer of properties from Liverpool City Council.

With the demerger agreed, both parties will begin working towards a formal separation later this year.

Elsewhere in the region, New Charter Group in Greater Manchester has entered talks with Lancashire-based Adactus Housing Group which would lead to the creation of a 34,000-home landlord.

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