Could Your Business be Seriously Impacted by One of the 43 Housing Mergers Since the Start of 2022?
To date, since the beginning of 2022, forty-three housing organisations, both Housing Association and Local Authority, have changed and any one of these changes could potentially threaten the contracts you currently hold.
Housing Association Changes
The number of current and planned mergers continues to be unprecedented, and last year alone saw some sixteen Housing Associations merging to become just eight bodies, presenting both threats and opportunities from any review of current contracts and procurement arrangements.
Housing Association mergers frequently mean that some HA landlords, and their current names, will disappear completely, while some larger partner HAs will remain and may become the new Group name. Other mergers prompt a new Group to be formed and renamed completely, resulting in a housing association that will be totally unfamiliar to this sector, in the short term.
The total combined stock, following a merger, enlarges and empowers the resulting landlord but reduces the social housing sector’s landlords, by one or more, each time this happens; some groups have even been known to double in size over night, presenting more of an opportunity to businesses than before.
Whichever route is chosen, power will be re-distributed, changes in management will result and economies of scale sought.
Local Authority Changes
Consolidation and rationalisation is not just confined to Housing Associations, with twenty Local Authorities merging into just four much larger authorities so far this year.
Local Authority mergers are extremely complex and the results can mean leaving behind the more familiar two-tier structure of having a county council and district councils, for a single tier (unitary) authority, for any given area. Roles, functions, boundaries, size and personnel may then all change over the following months and years.
Consolidation and rationalisation is not just confined to Housing Associations, with seventeen Local Authorities on the cusp of merging into just four much larger authorities in the next few weeks.
These Local Authority changes mean that certain councils will be abolished altogether, familiar names will again disappear, and this will also mean a complete re-structure to local government and services, as they seek better value for money.
Do you know about these changes?
Do you know if any of these changes will affect your business? Do you have contracts with any of these organisations? Will any of these restructures/ mergers now prompt a review of how products and services are delivered?
Does this affect your marketing plans? Is the relevant Area Sales Manager or Business Development Manager up to date with these changes? Has your CRM system been amended?
Further Proposals for Mergers or Re-structuring
In the first months 2023, twenty-three Housing Associations either already have, or are progressing towards becoming, just eleven organisations.
Changes do not stop here!
Looking forward, twenty four landlords are currently, formally considering mergers or re-structuring.
Sixteen Housing Associations are now considering proposals to merge in to eight groups; one of these proposals could result in the formation of one of the countries’ largest housing associations with over 110,000 stock.
Furthermore, eight additional Local Authorities have set in motion re-structuring/merger considerations!
Any of these proposed changes could have a major impact on your business and clearly if the number of landlords continues to fall, market dimensions will shift, with fewer, but more powerful landlords emerging.
Information, from a knowledgeable source, received as early as possible, is key to keeping your business abreast of these and other major changes going on in the social housing sector.
Data alone, without the understanding of how the social housing and local government sector works, provides only one side of the story. For example, it can take up to twelve months for information on mergers etc. to be consolidated and show up in official government figures, if data is all that you are relying on. Simply informing your business that these changes have happened is a bit late in the day to help you with future-proofing your contracts, or your strategy!
Therefore, staying up to date and well informed is imperative and it is where we can help.
Focal Research has a background stretching back over 30 years in social housing and the contracting/supplies industry. We provide far more than simply data through our online system PREEMPT and additionally, we back this up with training and sector news updates from out ‘In the Know’ bulletin.
If you’d like to learn more about PREEMPT and how Focal Research can help your business, please feel free to get in touch and we’d be happy to arrange a virtual meeting.