Hanover completes ‘transformational’ merger with Arklet Housing Association
Arklet Housing Association has completed its transfer its engagements to Hanover (Scotland) Housing Association.
The final formalities, which were completed on November 8, see Renfrewshire-based Arklet’s 384 properties and its residents become part of Hanover Scotland. The decision comes after a vote by Arklet residents in September when 98% supported the merger.
The move also brings the Scottish Housing Regulator’s statutory intervention in Arklet to an end.
Hanover Scotland said the move will allow Arklet residents to access a broader range of services and become part of the organisation’s move to increase engagement in order to shape better services across Scotland.
Although on a practical level, there will be very little change for Arklet residents in the short term and services will continue to be provided via existing staff at Giffnock, it is hoped that by being part of the larger organisation there will be better access for staff and residents to services such as digital training.
Helen Murdoch, chief executive of Hanover Scotland, said: “I am delighted that Hanover Scotland’s merger with Arklet has now been completed and we can welcome those residents to our housing family.
“This merger was overwhelming supporters by members, with 98% in favour and we have had fantastic support from the Arklet team as well as the Scottish Housing Regulator and others.”
Ms Murdoch added: “These residents join us at a critical time when Hanover is seeking to transform itself and be at the forefront of the future development of housing, health and social care.
“We have just completed a programme to better understand the emotional needs of our residents to help us shape the way in which we work on behalf of residents and the former Arklet residents will greatly assist us in that endeavour.
“Over the coming months, we will be taking steps to harmonise our service and business systems. However, we would like to reassure Arklet residents that there will be very little immediate change to the service arrangements as Hanover will continue to provide services through the existing staff team based at the Giffnock office.”
Iain Wallace, chair of Arklet, said: “Arklet has done the right thing – our members twice voted unanimously to merge with Hanover and I share their confidence for a positive, sustainable future with our new partner.
“Its bittersweet that the Arklet brand will disappear considering our unique history but our commitment to customers and staff, and care for their welfare, will carry on ever stronger with Hanover.”
The Scottish Housing Regulator intervened in Arklet in February 2017, using its statutory powers to appoint a manager and three governing body members amid “serious weaknesses” in its governance and financial management. It subsequently reduced the number of appointments to the governing body to two.
The Regulator announced last month it would engage with both Arklet and Hanover to oversee the transfer between the organisations.
Now completed, the Regulator revealed it has ended its statutory intervention in Arklet.
Ian Brennan, director of regulation, said: “We have ended our statutory intervention at Arklet following its decision to transfer its engagements to Hanover. The decision reflects the views of Arklet’s tenants who voted overwhelmingly in favour of the move.
“During our intervention, Arklet worked constructively with the statutory manager and appointees to strengthen its Board. After carrying out an options appraisal, Arklet decided that the transfer was in the best interests of its tenants.
“We will continue to monitor Arklet’s integration into Hanover as Hanover works to deliver the commitments made to Arklet’s former tenants.”