Harvest and Arena become Your Housing

Housing associations Harvest and Arena have formally completed their merger, relaunching in the new financial year as Your Housing Group.

The combined group has 32,000 homes across the North West, Yorkshire and Midlands, made up of 18,000 former Harvest units and 14,000 from Arena. The pair has a rent roll of £150m a year, employs 1,500 staff and has an asset value of £1.1bn.

The head office will be in Warrington the chief executive will be Brian Cronin, former chief executive of Arena. Ian Perry, chief executive of Harvest, will remain as a director to help with the transition for the foreseeable future. Kathy Cowell, chairman of Harvest, will take up the same position at Your Housing.

Cronin said: "Social housing providers are facing tough challenges; with welfare reform, the increasing need for affordable housing, and crucial service cuts for local authorities, the services we deliver are needed more than ever."

In 2011 the groups secured a total of nearly £20m from the Homes & Communities Agency towards a building programme that would create 1,440 new homes. The HCA grants will be added to borrowing and rental income to fund a development programme in excess of £150m.

Your Housing Group is the parent company to 11 subsidiaries; Derwent & Solway, Frontis, Manchester & District, Partington Housing Association, Eaves Brook, Moorlands, Arena Homes, Arena Options, Leasowe, Headrow and Tung Sing.

Harvest Housing Group and Arena Housing announced the decision to merge in October 2011. The combined tenant base of 32,000 residents was consulted and a significant majority of respondents agreed it would be beneficial to merge.

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