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Housing associations announce plan for major merger

HousesCANTREF has announced discussions are underway with Wales & West Housing Association over plans to merge.

The news follows Cantref’s announcement last month (March 2016) it had taken the decision to find a suitable partner with which to merge following a review into its operations and governance, undertaken during the last eight months in cooperation with the Welsh Government.

Cantref received information from interested organisations across Wales and rigorously evaluated their submissions, but Wales & West Housing is its preferred partner and due diligence and more detailed discussions are now taking place. Commenting on these discussions, Kevin Taylor, Interim Chair of Cantref says: “We decided that the best way for Cantref to grow and develop, and to continue providing the best service possible to our tenants is to merge with a suitable partner that can complement our business.

“Wales & West Housing is our preferred partner as it has a proven track record particularly around resident satisfaction and resident engagement. It is also committed to preserving Cantref’s ethos of a regional and local focus and recognises the importance of cultural aspects to our business such as the continued use and support of the Welsh language. Importantly, it is also a very well respected organisation that possesses lender and regulatory support.”

Cantref operates throughout Ceredigion, North Pembrokeshire, North Carmarthenshire, and the Machynlleth area in Powys and is seen as a good fit for Wales & West Housing as its Chief Executive, Anne Hinchey explains: “Cantref is a strong organisation that undertakes important work within the geographical locations in which it operates. It is clear that it has a passionate workforce that are committed to the communities they serve and we are very excited by the discussions that are taking place and the potential to come together as one entity. Cantref has the same ethos as Wales & West Housing which is centred on the fact the tenant always comes first and we are hopeful discussions continue to progress in a positive manner.”

It is hoped the current discussions can lead to a successful merger by Autumn this year but in the meantime, Cantref continues to strengthen its operations following the Welsh Government inquiry. Mr Taylor adds: “The service and support we provide our tenants is our number one priority and at the heart of everything we do. We are proud of the results we have delivered over the years but it is crucial that we continue to move forward.

“We currently have an experienced team in place and are excited by the discussions taking place with Wales & West Housing. However, we are not standing still and are continuing to implement changes recommended within the recent review to ensure Cantref is as strong as possible as the merger discussions take shape.”