Call to halt merger involving Isle of Dogs social landlord
- Credit: Mike Brooke
Calls have been made by Tower Hamlets councillors to halt a social landlord which runs estates on the Isle of Dogs from merging with a larger organisation in the north of England.
One Housing Group, which made an £8.6 million loss last year, is seeking to join forces with Riverside Housing in Liverpool.
But opposition members of the council want the merger stopped.
One Housing was downgraded on the Housing Register earlier this year over its management, critics point out.
“They have a poor reputation for being remote,” Tory group leader Peter Golds claimed.
“Tenants and leaseholders fear merging with a far larger entity in the north of England will increase remoteness.
"Any merger should be with an east London organisation with roots in Tower Hamlets.”
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One Housing manages 17,000 London social properties and wants to merge with Riverside, which runs 58,000 homes in the north and Midlands.
It is “in the middle of a campaign” posting leaflets to tenants and leaseholders, including 2,000 in Millwall and Cubitt Town, ahead of formal consultations next month on any merger, to promote its “shared recognition” with Riverside that they are “better and stronger together”.
Their spokesperson said: “The challenges of building safety and achieving zero carbon on our own would have some difficult trade-offs to make, with limited resources for new homes and regeneration. We are looking for a partner with financial strength to become more efficient.”
It believes their “geographies are complementary” to create a national footprint with a solid financial foundation.
One Housing runs four estates on the Isle of Dogs - Samuda, Barkantine, St John's and Kingsbridge.
Michigan House, Montrose House and Montcalm House on the Kingsbridge estate have been earmarked by the housing association for potential regeneration.
The four Isle of Dogs estates were taken over from Tower Hamlets Council in 2006 by Toynbee Island Homes, which was then absorbed by Community and Toynbee housing associations merging to form One Housing in 2007.