Impact Housing Association and Riverside are finalising arrangements to consult with tenants, shareholders and other interested parties over proposals for the Cumbria-based landlord to join the Riverside Group.
Tenants will be given advanced notice of a formal six week period of tenant consultation, likely to begin at the end of March. This will lead to a formal vote on the proposals by shareholders in June. If the partnership is approved, the 2,770 home housing association could join Riverside as a subsidiary by the end of the summer.
Meetings took place last week with two groups of Impact tenants in Carlisle and Workington to explain the proposals and seek their views on how best to engage with Impact’s tenants across Cumbria and North Lancashire.
As a result, work is now underway on a summary of the commitments Riverside made in its bid to help secure Impact’s financial stability, boost repairs and maintenance and deliver improved services.
Copies of this ‘Partnership Pledge’ will be posted to all Impact tenants who will have the opportunity to ask questions or express their views through a series of drop-in sessions in April in Carlisle, Workington, Penrith and Kendal. A video explaining the partnership is also being prepared and will be available on Impact’s website when the consultation begins. There will also be a dedicated email and phone line for comments and questions.
Mark Costello, Chair of Impact HA said: “Both tenant groups had positive feedback on the proposed partnership. They also gave us their views on how we should communicate the Partnership Pledge to our tenants.
“Tenant views are always important – which is why we consulted our tenant groups before seeking a partner, to ensure the selection criteria reflected tenant’s priorities.
At the outset, tenants made it clear they wanted a partner with financial strength to fund improvements to their homes and ensure an effective repairs service; accessibility of services and local accountability was also important as was a solid framework for tenant engagement and opportunities to have their voice heard. These important areas are addressed in the Partnership Pledge.”
A full briefing for Impact shareholders will take place in mid-March and additional briefing sessions are also being arranged for Impact staff and the Regulator of Social Housing which is overseeing the process.