Newcastle-based affordable housing provider, Leazes Homes, has joined the Your Homes Newcastle (YHN) group structure as a community benefit society.
The decision was ratified by both Leazes Homes’ and YHN’s Boards following a year-long due diligence process designed to develop a closer working relationship between the two organisations.
YHN, the arms-length management organisation responsible for managing Newcastle City Council’s tenancies, already has a long-standing partnership with Leazes Homes. In recent months, it was determined that the two organisations could deliver more in partnership than they could alone, particularly as the need for the specialist accommodation that Leazes Homes has become expert in providing increases in the city. Both organisations share similar goals and are committed to responding to the needs of Newcastle’s aging population and the increasing demand for supported housing, for those with dementia for example.
Chair of Leazes Homes, Dawn Keightley, said: “Leazes Homes’ board has had clear ambitions around developing exemplar accommodation solutions in the supported housing market for some time, but was also aware that Leazes Homes’ existing operating model would not be able to gear up to deliver against those ambitions and other solutions needed to be considered to bring in the capacity, knowledge and resources required. Given the close relationship with YHN and that Newcastle City Council is our key stakeholder, we are delighted to join the YHN Group so they can provide some of that capacity to enable us to deliver on the board’s vision.
“We consulted our tenants on this decision and were pleased that they too were happy for us to proceed. While there will be no changes for our tenants in terms of their rights or security of tenure, we believe that they will benefit more indirectly from the coming together of two such successful organisations. Our aim to develop a bespoke repairs and maintenance service for our specialist schemes, for example, will be more aligned with the needs of those in supported housing and access to an energy efficiency programme will make our properties more comfortable and cheaper to maintain”
Chair of YHN, Tony Gates, said: “We’re pleased to be welcoming Leazes Homes back into the YHN group structure and look forward to working together to strengthen our existing partnership.
“Specialist housing is a potential growth area for YHN and we’re thrilled to have the expertise of the Leazes Homes board taking on strategic oversight of this for us. Having a registered provider in the group structure could lead to more opportunities to develop housing and we look forward to working together to deliver more tailored services for customers in the spirit of the new Social Housing White Paper.”
Image: L-R, Dawn Keightley, Chair of Leazes Homes, Tina Drury, MD of YHN and Tony Gates, Chair of YHN, courtesy YHN.