Changes to the way we work - have your say

30 July 2019

The merger of Waterloo Housing and Fortis Living created Platform Housing Group in October 2018

Since then we have been continuing to work to deliver quality, value for money local services.

On a day-to-day basis, we are one business – Platform Housing Group.  However, from a legal perspective Waterloo Housing and Fortis Living still exist as separate landlords.  Administering the three companies costs us money and time, which we could better spend improving services and building new homes.

We are therefore proposing to formally amalgamate Waterloo Housing Group Limited and Fortis Living Limited to form one company which we plan to call Platform Housing Limited.

Platform Housing Limited will be part of Platform Housing Group.

This amalgamation will help us to:-

  • Simplify our management and governance
  • Make efficiency savings
  • Improve your local services, and
  • Create capacity for us to build more homes.

We are aiming to do this by 31 December 2019, but this will only go ahead after we have your views and we have considered these along with any other issues.

These proposals will not have any impact on your tenancy or your rights and obligations as a tenant. The merger of the two landlords is purely to reduce unnecessary administrative costs and ensure that everyone is treated equally.

If amalgamation goes ahead, the intention is that your landlord would become Platform Housing Ltd.

The Group will continue to be regulated as a registered provider by the Regulator of Social Housing.

If you have any questions about these proposals please have a look through the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ below.

If you have any views that you would like to share with us please:

Please let us know your views by 5pm on September 9th 2019.

Your views are important to us, so please do get involved in the discussion, and have your say in helping shape how our Group is changing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why am I being asked about this proposed change?

We are obliged to consult with you about this, because the legal effect of this is that you will have a new landlord – which we plan to call Platform Housing Limited. We also have a duty to give you or your representatives the chance to give us your views. We will consider what you say before we make a final decision.

Why amalgamate?

Customers often tell us the most important things to them are getting services quickly and easily to help keep their homes looking good and well maintained.

The proposed amalgamation will result in a simpler structure, saving time and money. We can use this to improve our services to better meet your needs. We can also build more new homes.

What will change?

Amalgamation means your landlord would become Platform Housing Ltd.

In the medium and longer term, we expect you will see improvements in services as a result of efficiency savings.  Examples of planned improvements in service delivery include the following:

  • Developing a clear Platform brand and simplified legal structure
  • Development of consistent services for our customers so that all customers know they can expect the same high quality standards of service regardless of where they live.
  • Development of a single contact centre, giving all customers a clear point of contact for getting in touch with us.
  • Investing both in our existing homes and building new high quality housing so that all our homes are of a high standard.

What will stay the same?

Although your landlord will change, almost everything else will stay the same. You will not see any significant difference in how we operate.

Your rent and other charges will not change, they will continue to be reviewed each year in the same way as they are now. The same staff will provide the same services. You will see no changes to your tenancy or lease, and your rights as a tenant or leaseholder will not be affected.

Will it affect repairs and maintenance to my home?

Your repairs will continue to be carried out in the same way as they are now.

Will I lose the ‘Right to Buy’ my property?

If you have the preserved right to buy, you will continue to have that right if these changes go ahead.

Will the security of my tenancy change in any way?

No, it will not. Your current tenancy agreements will stay the same, but with Platform Housing Limited as your landlord.

I live in a shared ownership property –will this affect me?

No, it will not. The terms of your shared ownership lease and your statutory rights will stay the same, but with Platform Housing Limited as your landlord.

I am a leaseholder – will this affect me?

No, it will not. The terms of your lease and your statutory rights will stay the same, but with Platform Housing Limited as your landlord.

Will there be any changes to staffing as a result of the change?

No, there will not. You will still deal with the team you know and trust on a day-to-day basis.

How will Platform Housing Limited be governed?

There will be no change to the Board arrangements as we already operate with one common Platform Housing Group Board.

The group is regulated by the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) and will continue to be regulated by the RSH. We will continue to be a community benefit society.

What is a community benefit society?

The rules of a community benefit society state that none of the assets (e.g. cash and properties) owned by it may be given to any person. Assets must be used for the benefit of the community that the community benefit society serves. This means we will only use our money and other resources for providing services to current customers, maintaining existing homes and building new homes.

Are there any disadvantages with the proposal?

Not really. The amalgamation will involve initial staff time from some of our employees.  This will not directly involve those employees who work most closely with our customers.  Whilst there will also be some external advisors’ costs, we are confident these will be quickly recovered through the savings that a single, streamlined organisation will achieve.