Trafford Housing Trust is set to become a wholly-owned subsidiary of L&Q, a London-based housing association it has been working in a joint venture with since 2016.
It is anticipated the acquisition will complete in June, subject to due diligence, customer consultation and the development of a five-year business plan.
The acquisition of THT by L&Q will build on a joint venture partnership which has seen 679 housing starts in the North West since its launch in 2016 and a further 1,500 in the pipeline. According to a statement announcing the deal, L&Q will invest £4bn in the region by combining capabilities and resources with THT, to create 20,000 homes over the next 10 years, at least half of which will be affordable.
Around £2m will be put aside to improve the standard of THT’s existing homes as they come up for re-let. THT currently has 9,000 social homes in the region, while L&Q has 95,000.
L&Q and THT will work closely with local authorities in the North West to ensure that homes meet local needs, including the over 55s and for those with special needs.
THT’s existing management team will continue to be responsible for local service delivery, accountable to the THT Board. While there will be no compulsory redundancies as a direct result of the acquisition, L&Q and THT said there will be savings long-term by removing duplication and increasing efficiencies.
While remaining committed to the South East, L&Q is using the acquisition of THT to gain greater access to the North West, while THT will benefit from the scale, financial strength and resilience of L&Q, which is one of the largest and most successful charitable housing providers in the country.
As part of the acquisition, THT chief executive Matthew Gardiner will step down and be succeeded by current acting chief executive Larry Gold. Gardiner has spent the past few months on secondment as head of ideation for L&Q Group, and this will become permanent. THT chairman, Edna Robinson, will join L&Q’s Group board to help shape future strategy.
L&Q Group chief executive David Montague said: “L&Q has an ambitious plan to build 100,000 quality new homes over the next 10 years to tackle the national housing crisis. We see THT as a gateway to the North West, an area of outstanding growth that needs more high quality, affordable homes.
“We are excited by the opportunity to invest in the North West with a partner that shares our social purpose, values and ambition, has excellent local knowledge and a strong reputation for innovation and delivery.”
Larry Gold, acting chief executive of THT, said: “This is a unique creation that will be built on true partnership and the strength of our vision, and the people who will deliver it. As part of L&Q, we’ll create significant social impact in the North West at scale and pace and strive to find solutions to the national housing crisis.
“We will deliver an extensive programme of new development and regeneration projects, as well as improving homes and services for our existing customers.”