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L&Q and the Hyde Group have mutually agreed to end plans to merge

As financially strong organisations, both housing associations remain committed to growth and have ambitious plans to build more homes to help alleviate the housing crisis in London and the South East.

However, it has become apparent that there are practical issues surrounding the merger that cannot be overcome without disproportionate effort.

In the current environment of unparalleled change and opportunity we have concluded that this would require time that we do not have.

We will continue to work collaboratively to our mutual benefit and we wish each other the best for the future.

We’d like to thank all the residents who took the time to share their views during our consultation period. If you have any questions, please email merger@hyde-housing.co.uk

Residents' FAQs about the end of the merger

 

  • Why have the merger talks ended?

    As we worked more closely together on the detail of the merger, we came across a number of practical difficulties. These included different approaches to some of our work, and differing views about how the new organisation should function. We tried hard to work through these differences and reach a compromise which would still bring benefits for all. But in recent weeks we started to realise that with all the resources, time and effort needed to achieve the benefits we wanted from the merger, we would actually be able to achieve more as separate organisations than by coming together.

  • Some media have reported that “Hyde pulled out” – why is this?

    It is being reported in this way because East Thames and L&Q are continuing with their own merger talks. However the decision for Hyde not to merge was a mutual one between Hyde and L&Q and was made in the best interests of both companies.

  • Did the work on the merger uncover issues with Hyde’s financial position?

    ‘Due diligence’ refers to the stage of a merger project where each organisation collects information about their properties & how they do things. This went very well, and did not reveal anything which stopped the merger. Hyde’s financial position remains strong with a healthy revenue stream and surplus. We still expect to consider other merger and acquisition opportunities in the future.

  • Has the merger exercise wasted a lot of money for Hyde?

    Most of the work was carried out in house by staff. It has actually been a very useful process as we have learned a lot about L&Q, East Thames and Hyde. We are reflecting on what we have learned – which has shown us both what is good about how Hyde works and what we could do differently to get better results and to help us achieve more as we move forward.

  • Promises were made about new and better ways to deliver services – what will happen now?

    One of the reasons it was such a useful process is that we have had ‘up close and personal’ experience of different ways of working, and an opportunity to review our values and vision. Our ambition in terms of improved efficiency and better landlord services remains the same as we had before the merger talks and for the new merged organisation. We will use this experience to speed up the pace and effectiveness of the changes we are making and to challenge ourselves to do more.

  • The merger had offered hope for an increase in social rent properties; will Hyde continue to build new homes, and focus on its ‘social heart’?

    Hyde remains committing to providing as many affordable homes as we can. The Government still regulates our rent setting and the current Government’s Affordable Homes Programme requires us to let newly built rented homes at up to 80% of market rents. A small proportion of social rented homes are changed to Affordable Rent when they are re-let as we have a contract to support this programme which requires us to do this. We would like to have more flexibility on rent setting but this is not currently Government policy.

    ‘Social purpose’ has never gone away and remains at the core of Hyde. This is about providing as many affordable homes as we can, doing more by working more efficiently and finding innovative funding arrangements for additional activities. For example Hyde Plus has shifted their range of activities towards support for residents and communities who are most vulnerable and are developing long term strategic partnerships, such as the Love London Working alliance.

  • How will Hyde build enough homes to tackle the housing shortage?

    We had already stepped up our plans from 1000 to 1500 homes per year. We will now look at what more we can do to increase our capacity to build more homes whilst balancing the risks to the business.

  • What will happen to the proposed focus on care?

    We will continue to provide supported and sheltered housing but we do not propose to move back into direct provision of care. A large range of care and support providers commissioned by local authorities provide services to Hyde residents and this will continue. In the last year we have been introducing an Intensive Housing Management service into our sheltered schemes and plan to roll this out subject to resident consultation.

  • What will happen about the idea of an 'internal mutual exchange market', so that residents can change homes without changing landlord?

    Hyde already subscribes to national exchange schemes which Hyde residents may use to swap with each other. We will look at how we can further publicise this scheme.

 Read the summary of residents' feedback for the proposed merger.