It will create a new 10,000-home landlord with property assets of more than £656 million.
The move by OakleeTrinity and Ulidia Housing Associations will establish the largest voluntary housing provider in Northern Ireland with almost 300 staff working under the new brand identity ‘CHOICE Housing Ireland’.
It will be formally launched after the merger completes in the near future.
The security of tenancies and rents should not be affected as a result of the merger.
They say that by joining forces, the not-for-profit organisations will create a £39 million-turnover association that can generate larger investment and choice for new social homes, enhancing the quality and reach of current and future services.
CHOICE Housing Ireland is already committed to building 500 new social and affordable homes in Northern Ireland, which represents more than a third of the government’s target new builds.
Timothy Quin, Chairman of OakleeTrinity Housing said:
“The needs and interests of all tenants and staff remain our first priority and we believe this merger will secure a wide range of benefits for all.
“Both associations share core values and have a common goal. The time is right to look at how we can maximise our efforts. CHOICE Housing Ireland has one of the most experienced management teams in the UK and Ireland. We see an opportunity to change and improve how customers interact with their housing provider and change the way services are delivered.
“CHOICE Housing Ireland will be a flexible community-based association that can get significantly more new homes underway, work smarter and more creatively for customers, and build new strategic partnerships within the sector.
“Following a period of implementation, the management structure for CHOICE will be reviewed in due course and we look forward to establishing a bold housing association that is creative as well as strategic in its approach.”
Tony Kennedy, Chairman of Ulidia Housing said:
“This merger has brought together two housing associations with great people, numerous complementary strengths and leading positions in the market. It will help us to spend less on running our business and maximise the investment we put back into our homes and local communities, making our service much more than housing.
“We are not-for-profit organisations and the operational savings gained from the merger will be used to improve our services to tenants and the wider community, and build more homes.
“There is an urgent and growing need for social and affordable homes. We want to lead the response to that need and will continue to explore further community options to ensure we can deliver throughout Northern Ireland.”
Consultations with tenants, staff and other stakeholders were carried out as part of the process leading up to the merger and everyone will continue to be actively involved in discussions aimed at improving levels of service excellence.