Tenant

Tai Ceredigion and Mid-Wales Housing

Merger Update 12/03/2020

Work on the proposed merger between Tai Ceredigion and Mid-Wales Housing Association has been moving forward well. There are many things to discuss and decide with meetings with the Shadow Board as well as the Regulator, lead consultants for the merger, Savills; and separate Legal and Financial Consultants for both Associations. 

The Staff and Tenant Monitoring Groups from both associations are working tirelessly for the good of our tenants. Here are some Frequently Asked Questions which might answer any questions you may have.

General FAQs

  • to have a stronger voice for tenants and housing across Mid and West Wales
  • to maintain and improve service quality for tenants and create an enhanced development programme
  • to strengthen both organisation’s roots in the communities they serve
  • to protect jobs and services
  • to create a more resilient and financially stronger organisation by pooling resources and expertise

No, it is a voluntary decision, but it is believed that we would be stronger as one organisation and more capable of delivering better services for all our tenants.

A final decision will be made in April 2020, following the detailed due diligence, and this consultation which is taking place. If it is agreed, then consent from the funders and legal completion work will follow over the summer months.

Both Housing Associations will continue to work as they did before.

There would be several months of preparation for the merger, which would likely complete at the end of September.

There will be a new set of values for the new merged association, but they are unlikely to be very different from the current values of both associations

Yes, tenants representatives have been involved in the merger discussions over the last twelve months, and will present their independent views to both association Boards in April, after this consultation process with the wider group of tenants.

Yes, the shareholders of Mid Wales Housing Association will need to approve the merger into Tai Ceredigion at two special general meetings, following on from a decision by both association Boards to merge.

Yes. Any tenant can apply to become a shareholder. We will be encouraging all tenants to apply to become a shareholder of the new merged housing association, so that they will have a vote at future annual general meetings and other shareholder meetings.

Only if you are a current shareholder of Mid Wales Housing Association, as the proposed merger will involve Mid Wales Housing Association moving all of its business to Tai Ceredigion.

You are being consulted about the proposed merger but if both Board decide to proceed with the proposed voluntary merger, you will receive a letter or a legal notice to advise you of the change of freeholder, and advising of any change of company name to whom you will pay any ground rents and service charges to in future.

All existing subsidiary companies of Mid Wales Housing Association will transfer to Tai Ceredigion as their new parent group company, if Mid Wales Housing Association merges with Tai Ceredigion. This will include their employees, who will retain their existing terms and conditions.

Yes, it is likely that the existing Tai Ceredigion community fund and any related community benefits provided by both associations will continue in future years, subject to Board approval.

Yes, the new merged association would continue to invest in communities with new homes and other support and employment services

Yes, the merged association would be aiming to build between 100 and 200 new affordable homes each year

Rights

No, most tenancies will remain the same until the Welsh Government Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 comes into being, when most tenancies will change, but you will still have the same or increased level of security and protection.

No, it is a voluntary decision, but it is believed that we would be stronger as one organisation and more capable of delivering better services for all our tenants.

Rent & Services

Rents will not increase any more than they would have done if you had stayed with your original landlord. Rents are subject to the Welsh Government Ministers guidance on affordable rent levels, which can change each year.

Service charges will not increase any more than if you stayed with your original landlord. Service charges can rise, or reduce, on an annual basis due to changes in service delivery costs, contract prices obtained, and/or changes in the specification of what services are to be provided or the quality of the service, following consultation with affected tenants and leaseholders.

Yes, the merged association would continue to provide its tenants with welfare benefits and debt advice, or refer on to other agencies for more specialised advice and support.

Yes, the merged housing association would consult tenants, leaseholders and other residents each year; accounting for the previous year’s actual service charge account income and expenditure, and explaining how the next years estimated service charges have been calculated.

Repairs

Generally, yes, but if you are a Mid-Wales Housing tenant living in Ceredigion you may have to ring the Tai Ceredigion Freephone telephone number in future.

No, there should be no effect on the repair order timescales, and we would be aiming to offer repairs by appointment in all areas, with estimated arrival times or time slots.

Yes, the repairs and maintenance service will be at least as good as the current service, but our aim will be to continue to improve the response time and the quality of repairs each year.

Yes, the same employees or local contractors will be used to undertake repairs and maintenance and servicing in most cases.

Staff

Yes, in most cases the same staff will be dealing with housing management, surveying work, and finance/administration work. There may be some changes to areas of responsibility in some parts of the counties, but all of the existing staff will still be working within the merged association. All tenants, leaseholders, and other residents will be advised of who their main contact members of staff will be.

Disability

Minor adaptations will continue to be delivered “in house” and the new association would work with the relevant local authorities to obtain adaptation grants for any major adaptation works.

Yes, where there is an identified need and to meet future need.

Yes, the merged association would continue to try to improve disability access on all estates and schemes, whenever possible.

Yes, the merged association will continue to try to provide information in other accessible formats whenever possible, for those tenants who need them.

We have a regular training programme for staff and Board Members and Equality and Diversity training is part of this. This training would continue to be delivered after the merger.

Tenant Involvement

All existing tenant involvement methods will continue, and there will also be a wide-ranging tenant involvement review within the first twelve months of the merger being completed.

Yes, the merged association will continue to have customer satisfaction and involvement at the heart of its service delivery, with the aim of being seen as a best practice landlord within Wales.

Yes, tenants and leaseholders will continue to be involved in reviewing and agreeing service standards and undertaking independent scrutiny on the services provided.

Yes, tenants will continue to be consulted on specifications, and on plans to reduce carbon emissions and measures to reduce fuel poverty.

Yes, the new Board will include members who are existing tenants or who can ensure that a strong tenants perspective is present.

Yes, there will be a number of occasions / events each year where tenants will be able to meet with Board members and discuss the existing services or future business plans with the members.

Yes, there will continue to be regular operational and strategic meetings between tenant representatives and staff, including senior managers and executives.

Yes, the current independence of tenants groups will be respected and continue to be encouraged with support and budgets. There will be reference made to this in the merged association’s new constitution.

Yes, the merged association will continue to encourage the setting up of new local tenant associations and will provide support.

Communication

There are two Tenant Liaison Forum meetings planned in Newtown and Aberystwyth. These will be followed by local consultation events across both Associations areas. The Joint Tenant Panel will then submit an independent report to both Boards in April, when a final decision about the merger will be made by the Boards.

Yes, there will be regular update in the newsletters and through social media.

Yes

Yes

Yes being able to deliver all services through the medium of Welsh is important

Over recent weeks the formal tenant consultation process regarding the proposed merger has begun with launch events in Aberystwyth and Newtown, led by the joint tenants panel. These launch meetings have been followed by informal drop in meetings in Knighton, Llandrindod Wells, Cardigan and Aberaeron. Soon to be followed by meetings in Lampeter, Aberystwyth, Newtown, Llanidloes, Machynlleth, and Ponterwyd. These are bring used to gather views of the wider tenant group, and will be presented to both Boards of the two associations on April 22nd 2020, when it is hoped that a final decision will be made on the merger proposal.

We will continue to keep everyone informed.