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Thu September 23 2021

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Merger of housing associations targets the building of more homes

2 Aug Housing associations Peabody and Catalyst have announced proposals to merge.

Both organisations’ boards believe there are significant benefits for residents in joining together, and are now launching consultations with residents to seek their views. They said that their combined financial capacity would allow them “to share resources, be more efficient and meet their commitment to build affordable homes and places with safety, quality and energy efficiency at the core”.

The organisations said that they believe the proposal would allow them to go further and faster with plans to improve service delivery and ways of working as there would be scope to invest and innovate more in services, homes, communities, technology and people.

Their combined financial capacity would allow them to share resources, be more efficient and meet their commitment to build affordable homes and places with safety, quality and energy efficiency at the core.

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Ian McDermott, CEO of Catalyst and designate CEO for the combined organisation, said: "We believe that we can go further and faster together. With our shared, aspirations and geographical reach, we can create an organisation which has customers at the front and centre of its thinking and planning. We will have a stronger local focus and be more connected with our communities. We can combine this with the benefits of scale and the ability created by the larger organisation. It is difficult to imagine two organisations with more closely aligned values and vision for the future.“

Lord Kerslake, chair of Peabody and designate chair for the combined organisation, said: “Our new association will have around 100,000 homes, and I believe that this scale, combined with our local knowledge, will enable us to provide valuable insight from our residents’ experiences to help better inform policy and have a positive impact on life chances. We’ll look forward to working with government and partners to develop innovative solutions that improve services to customers, enhance building safety and reduce carbon consumption.”

The organisations will be launching resident consultations in the summer to gather their views, before the respective boards consider feedback and decide whether to proceed with the proposals in the autumn. The proposal envisages Catalyst joining Peabody in spring 2022, as a subsidiary.

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