Why do we want to create a long-term partnership with Riverside/ One Housing?
Riverside and One Housing have a shared recognition that we are better and stronger together; when we combine we will be able to do more for our customers and the communities we serve.
Together we will have the scale to do more, with particular expertise in providing care and support services. We will have a portfolio of properties stretching across the UK and a focus on delivering great services locally. The partnership is also designed to create a joint organisation with the scale to offer more opportunities to our customers and staff, whilst being better able to adapt to the pressures facing the housing sector.
Will this partnership mean additional money can be spent on pressing challenges?
The partnership would allow us to accelerate our investment programme, especially for decarbonisation; spend more on supporting customers with things like money advice and employment; and build more homes.
When will this proposed merger actually happen?
One Housing became a subsidiary of The Riverside Group in December 2021. Over the next two years, the teams at Riverside and One Housing Group will work together to look at all aspects of our operations and how we can form one, integrated organisation. Throughout this period, we will involve customers in helping to shape services and keep you updated on progress.
The aim is to form one, fully-integrated organisation.
Customer and Services
What does this mean for customers?
Doing more for customers is at the core of how our partnership will work. Initially there will be limited impact to customer facing services resulting from this proposal and no change to rents, service charges or tenancy terms. As the partnership develops we will deliver better customer services, accelerated investment in our housing stock and improved tenancy sustainment services.
One aim for the new partnership will be to permanently give customers a stronger voice and more chances to engage with us – there will be a place for customers on our Group Board and our customer facing Committees, and a strengthened forum for customer engagement at Group level. Transparency and accountability are central to the partnership’s shared values.
How will you ensure that services are delivered to our customers and local services do not suffer?
We will still provide the same level of service to our customers and ensure that resources to provide excellent services are maintained. Over time, and working together, our aim is to improve services for customers and ensure they are engaged in the decisions we make.
Will this lead to the sale of properties?
The partnership itself won’t lead to the sale of properties, although both organisations may sell properties from time to time as part of our asset management strategies. In fact, the partnership will increase our development capacity in the long term, enabling us to build up to 40% more homes than currently planned.
Can we still buy our house?
If you have the Right to Buy or Right to Acquire your home, this will still stand, the partnership will not change this agreement. If you would like further details on purchasing your house please contact Riverside or One Housing directly, whichever is your current landlord.
Will this lead to a pause in our regeneration work?
No, all existing development plans will be unaffected by these proposals and any investment plans will continue.
Will this lead to an increase in rents or tenancy rights?
We will not increase your rent as a direct result of creating the partnership and any future rent increases will be in line with Government guidelines. There will be no impact on your rights as a tenant or leaseholder.
Will this lead to a cut in care and support services?
Absolutely not. In fact, it’s our shared focus on care and support services that helped bring Riverside and One Housing together. In the short term, whilst care and support services may change as contracts are reviewed, the partnership will mean few immediate changes to front-line services, and no change in landlord.
Longer term, the partnership should put us in a stronger position to listen to customer needs, sustain our current services, and put in place enhanced services at a time of intense pressure in the sector.
Can I move between Riverside and One Housing properties?
Customers who wish to move homes will now have the opportunity to register for an internal transfer for a new home with both Riverside and One Housing. This means customers will be able to apply for a move in any area where we own homes except where the local authority has specific local connection requirements. In some areas housing is in very short supply so waiting times may vary.
Early in the New Year we will be launching a new process so that tenants who wish to transfer to a new home can bid for properties across both Riverside and One Housing using our choice based lettings portal. More information will be provided in early 2022 on how to register and bid but in the meantime please apply for a transfer in the usual way through your local lettings team.
Are customers involved in the process?
Yes. At the start of the process we setup a Joint Customer Advisory Panel; a group of engaged customers who have supported and challenged us throughout the consultation process to ensure all decisions we make around the partnership are made with the best interest of customers in mind. We also involved all customers in the decision, carrying out an extensive consultation. All of that feedback will be reviewed and form part of our thoughts and we will continue to involve customers as we look at how the two organisations work together.
What will this mean for staff?
Initially One Housing have joined Riverside as a subsidiary and we anticipate there will be little or no impact on front-line staff. The new Group will retain offices in current locations, including the One Housing London head office.
An early focus of our partnership will be on integrating key corporate and support services. Over time we will explore further operational integration, including the co-location of offices where this makes sense and allows us to build a better service.
We will consult with colleagues about significant changes and listen to what they tell us. The new partnership will give our people a real chance to grow and develop as part of one of the country’s biggest, most progressive housing association groups, with the training and progression opportunities this will bring.