Welsh housing associations finalise merger

Mid-Wales Housing Association and Tai Ceredigion have merged to become Barcud, a 4,000-home housing association covering Mid and West Wales.
A man and a woman shaking hands in a meeting room.
Mid-Wales Housing Association and Tai Ceredigion have merged to become the new housing association Barcud. Credit: Pixabay

Two housing associations based in Mid and West Wales have finalised a merger deal two years in the making.

Mid-Wales Housing Association and Tai Ceredigion completed the merger to become a new housing association, Barcud, on Sunday 1 November after the housing associations’ boards confirmed the decision to merge back in May.

Barcud says the merger took six months to complete following due diligence and consultation with shareholders and lenders who gave their final consent for the deal.

The merger is said to be the first-ever merger of a traditional housing association and a stock transfer organisation in Wales.

Steve Jones, group chief executive for Barcud, said that both associations share the ambition to address the shortage of ‘much-needed quality affordable housing in Mid and West Wales’.

Jones commented: “We are ready to rise to the challenges faced by the local housing sector, and together with our partners within the local authorities and the support of Welsh government, we will be in an even stronger position to continue delivering on this objective. We will continue to listen to our tenants and work hard to develop a service that meets the needs of our communities.

“We believe that working as one organisation will strengthen our services and allow us to use our collective resources and expertise to help maintain, improve and build high quality, energy-efficient, affordable homes within the communities.

“We live and work in these communities and want tenants and staff to be proud of the services we deliver. With our team’s in-depth understanding of the needs of the area and our combined strength and efficiency, we will be able to meet the range of housing needs in the heart of Wales.”

Mid-Wales Housing Association was founded in 1975 and manages over 1700 properties throughout Powys and Ceredigion, along with a few properties in Shropshire.

Tai Ceredigion, meanwhile, was created as the result of a stock transfer from Ceredigion County Council in 2009.

The new housing association, Barcud, will own and manage over 4,000 homes across Ceredigion, Powys, North Pembrokeshire, and Carmarthenshire.

The Barcud group also includes the independent living service Powys Care and Repair, the electrical contractors EOM, and the homelessness charity The Care Society.

A Barcud spokesperson said the merger followed extensive consultation with tenants and leaseholders of both housing associations.

The merger received the unanimous support of the Joint Tenant Panel, made up of representatives from TaRF (Mid-Wales Housing’s Tenant and Resident Forum) and TCMG (Tai Ceredigion Monitoring Group).

Karen Oliver, chair of Barcud, said: “Getting the detail for the merger finalised has quite rightly taken a while because all the partners and funders needed to be confident it would work for our tenants.

“That confidence is now there and the green light given to creating a strong new housing association for the heart of Wales.

“We are grateful to all the professional advisors in their thorough approach and excellent service to reach where we are today.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all my colleagues at Tai Ceredigion and Mid-Wales Housing for all their hard work during the merger process whilst coping with the added stresses of COVID-19. It is a testament to their efforts and the commitment of my fellow shadow board members that we have arrived at this outcome today.”

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