JUNE ROUND UP: Greenoak, Housing 21, LFC and WDH

JUNE ROUND UP: Greenoak, Housing 21, LFC and WDH

Greenoak expands

Housing provider Stonewater has transferred 640 homes across Surrey, East Sussex, West Sussex and Berkshire to Greenoak Housing Association.

Greenoak became a subsidiary of Stonewater Group at the end of 2022.

Greenoak will be responsible for providing housing management services to customers while Stonewater will continue to manage the maintenance of the homes. The Greenoak Direct Services Team will then take over responsibility for responsive repairs on a phased basis. 

Marcus Canning, Interim Director at Greenoak, said: “From the outset it has always been the intention of the partnership between Greenoak and Stonewater to transfer these properties into our control. 

“Residents will be minimally impacted and will benefit from the expertise and experience of two forward-thinking housing associations.”

LFC regains Melwood

Torus has sold Liverpool Football Club’s (LFC) former training ground Melwood back to the club.

The North-West affordable housing provider and developer acquired the site in 2019 – with the men’s first team moving to the AXA Training Centre in Kirkby in 2020.

Upon re-acquiring the ground, LFC has announced plans for Melwood to become the new training base for Liverpool FC Women’s first team and their Professional Game Academy.

LFC also plans to use the site for community outreach facilities as well as for offering education to young people via the Fowler Education and Football Academy (FEFA).

Chris Bowen, managing director at Torus Developments, added: “All our developments are designed to help transform places and inspire growth. We believe Liverpool FC is best-placed to use this location to support the growth of women’s football and to maximise the benefit of the site to the wider community.

“Although we will not be delivering this development, Torus will continue to seek other opportunities to develop affordable homes in Liverpool and to help local communities thrive.”

WDH back on the streets

Social housing provider WDH is underway with their second ‘On Your Street’ project.

WDH has over 32,000 homes across the Wakefield district and wider operating area across the north of England.

In 2022, the inaugural year of the project, the WDH On Your Street team made 40,953 visits and phone calls (because not everyone is home first time.)

13,535 surveys were completed either in person, over the phone or online. 5,749 people asked for support from the team, with 549 needing emergency support.

The team responded to 675 requests for money, benefit, and debt advice from customers.

Among the improvements made as a result of the visits and comments to the survey were: installing swing gates to reduce anti-social behaviour; providing off street parking in places where it was possible; holding ‘days of action’ with groups and other agencies to make improvements to estates and increase recycling; and increasing security in and around some apartment buildings.

Clarion transfers 400+ homes to Housing 21

Housing 21 is continuing its portfolio expansion with an acquisition of 445 properties from Clarion Housing.

Housing 21 is a not for profit provider of Retirement Living and Extra Care for older people of modest means. It operates in 240 local authority areas across England, managing over 22,800 Retirement Living and Extra Care properties and providing over 38,000 hours of social care each week. 

The purchase includes a total of 11 schemes located in London, East Anglia and the South East and follows the acquisition of 472 properties from Notting Hill Genesis in February this year.

The schemes moving across in the transfer from Clarion to Housing 21 include Windmill Court, Redmayne View and Duncan Court.

Stonewater acquires over 180 properties from Bromford Homes 

Stonewater acquires over 180 properties from Bromford Homes 

Social housing provider Stonewater is continuing its expansion with the acquisition of 186 properties from Bromford Housing Association. The purchase includes six for supported housing, 53 shared ownership properties and 127 homes for general needs.

The purchase further increases Stonewater’s presence in the region, where they already manage more than 1,400 properties across Coventry, North Warwickshire and Nuneaton and Bedworth.

The tenanted transfer follows a consultation period with residents during which no concerns were raised. The housing provider says it is committed to ensuring there is no interruption to service for existing residents.

Patrick Chauvin, executive director of assets, homes at Stonewater, commented: “We already own and manage a significant number of homes in the area, and we are always looking for new opportunities to provide high quality affordable homes and related services for people whose needs are not met by the open market.

“Everything we do at Stonewater is driven by our vision of enabling everyone to have the opportunity to have a place that they can call home and we are delighted to have reached an agreement with Bromford Housing to add these homes to our portfolio.”

Bromford’s strategic property planning manager, Jonathan Cooper, said: “We are delighted to have reached an agreement with Stonewater which marks the completion of our strategic goal to consolidate our presence in those communities where we are best placed to make a difference.

“Throughout this process, engaging with and empowering our customers has been our top priority. We firmly believe that this stock transfer is in our customers’ best interests, and we are confident that Stonewater will continue to build on the high standards of service which Bromford customers have come to expect.”

The newly acquired properties are being managed from Stonewater’s new hub in Coventry. Hubs are also being set up in Reading and Bournemouth as Stonewater plans to make being a home-based organisation a permanent move, following the switch due to the pandemic.