We would like to hear your views on our proposal to create a single landlord for Bernicia.
This is our formal consultation with you and other tenants and residents. If you wish to comment on the proposals, or ask a question, please contact us (via email or the online form below) before the closing date.
Proposed Changes to the Bernicia Group Structure
There are currently 4 housing associations within the Bernicia Group. We believe it would be simpler and more efficient if all tenants and residents within the Group had one single landlord.
This would mean:
- Streamlining our structure and cutting down administration and red tape.
- Making savings and raising more money that could be spent on improving existing homes and services and building new homes.
- Creating a business wide approach to working with and learning from our tenants and residents.
Despite these proposed changes, a number of things that are important to you would stay the same:
- Your tenancy rights would not change. Anyone who transferred from a local authority would retain the Preserved Right to Buy.
- Your rent would not be affected by the proposed restructure. Rents and service charges would be set in the same way. Unless changed by the Government the 1% rent reduction would continue to apply up to April 2020.
- Your services would be delivered by the same staff.
An important part of this process is asking you what you think about the proposed changes. If you wish to comment on the proposals, or ask a question, please contact us via email or the online form below before the closing date.
Frequently asked questions
Currently there are 4 housing associations within the group. If the proposals went ahead the 4 housing associations would merge into one and be known as Bernicia.
At the moment we are a group of organisations made up of 4 housing associations.
Bernicia is the parent of the group. Bernicia is the name we use to describe the group as a whole.
Even though we are part of the same group, each housing association is legally separate, and each housing association has its own properties, tenants, employs its own staff and has its own accounts and funding arrangements.
Legally, the identity of your landlord would change and would simply be known as Bernicia. Changes to the legal structure of the housing associations would happen but many things we think are important to you would stay the same.
If we go ahead, the proposed changes to our structure would not affect your rights, tenancy, lease or freehold agreement or the way we set our rents and service charges. The terms of your agreements would not change. We’re already working with tenants to develop group wide policies and service offers which would not change as a result of bringing the housing associations together into one single landlord.
The single landlord would retain charitable status and would be regulated by the Homes and Communities Agency.
The way we deliver services from our Head Office in Ashington, local hubs in Berwick and Durham and at our sheltered and supported schemes would not change.
The new name would be Bernicia.
There would be no change, Bernicia would continue to be governed by a single Board. The main difference would be the Board would only have to make decisions for a single housing association instead of 4. The Board would continue to be made up of members with appropriate skills and expertise.
Full details of Board members are already available on our website. Changes would be updated as they happen.
It’s really important that we listen to your views on our proposals. Our Board has already considered an initial business case and made the decision to start consulting you on the proposed changes.
The Board would not make a decision until we know what you think about creating a single landlord and have considered all of the feedback.
Our involved tenants have already started to work together to shape the future of Bernicia. So with or without the changes our tenants and customers would continue to be involved at a range of levels.
The Board and Executive know that we need to invest in bringing all 4 landlords into a single landlord. An outline business case shows the changes are worthwhile making. The initial outlay would be far outweighed by the future financial benefits.
It is expected that £22 million over the next 30 years would be saved if the proposals to create a single landlord went ahead.
The restructure would not have any direct impact; the services that are currently in place at sheltered and supported housing schemes would be maintained.
You would continue to deal with staff who know your area and the issues that are important to you.
All comments will be reviewed by our Board during November 2017, so if you have any comments or questions we need to hear from you by 5pm on Monday 2nd October.
0344 800 3800