Proposed partnership with Thames Valley Housing
Formal discussions about forming a partnership with Thames Valley Housing (TVH) began earlier this year. You can find out more here.
Consulting our customers
As part of the proposed move towards a partnership with Thames Valley Housing, we conducted a resident consultation so that our Board could consider the views of residents as they make plans and decisions for the new organisation.
The consultation closed on 29 June 2018 and our Board considered residents’ responses in detail at its meeting on 19 July. The Board noted that we had received some queries about the proposals, to which we responded, but that there was not any significant objection from residents.
We will be writing to customers in the coming weeks with more details. In the meantime, here are answers to some of your commonly asked questions.
Your questions answered
Is my landlord/freeholder changing?
No. Your landlord will legally be the same; the only change will be that Metropolitan will have a new name. The conditions of your tenancy or lease will not change as a result of the partnership and you will have the same level of rights and protection that you have now. The name of the organisation has not been decided yet, but we will write to you and let you know when it has.
Will my rent or service charge be affected?
No, the partnership won’t affect your rent or service charge. We will continue to review charges every year, as we do at the moment, as per your current tenancy agreement or lease.
Will there be a change to how I pay?
You will be able to continue to pay as you do now, for example by Direct Debit, online, with your rent payment card, by phone and via Allpay. We will tell you nearer the time about any changes you need to make to the payee’s details.
Will my repairs, grounds maintenance or cleaning contractors change?
We are always looking at improving services and routinely review contractors’ performance. This will continue regardless of the partnership.
Will I have the same contact at Metropolitan (e.g. my Housing Officer or support worker)?
Yes, for the time being services will be delivered in the same way by the same people. As we introduce improvements over time this may change and we’d make sure you know who any new contacts are.
Will your offices be affected?
The proposed partnership will not affect our local offices. Our head office is in Southgate, north London. We also have other offices in London, as well as in Nottingham, Derby and Cambridge. Thames Valley Housing’s main office is in Twickenham, south-west London.
How will the partnership be structured?
If the proposal goes ahead, Thames Valley Charitable Housing Association (‘TVC’) will transfer into Metropolitan by what is called a ‘transfer of engagements’. The new organisation will become a subsidiary of Thames Valley Housing Association (‘TVH’).
What is a transfer of engagements?
A transfer of engagements is a legal process which enables one housing association to join another. One association transfers all its assets and liabilities into the other association to create one organisation. In this case TVC will transfer its engagements into Metropolitan which means its residents will become residents of Metropolitan.
What if I receive a care and support service?
The service you receive will continue as it does now. We have a contract with the local authority to provide the service and the partnership won’t affect this.
Will the way I contact you change?
Nothing will change immediately. You will continue to be able to get in touch with us as you do at the moment, by phone on 020 3535 3535, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via our website www.metropolitan.org.uk. You will still be able to get in touch with us on Facebook (facebook.com/metropolitanorg) and Twitter (@metropolitanorg). We will give you plenty of notice of any change to our contact details.
When will the partnership take effect?
We anticipate that the new organisation will legally take effect in the autumn. This will be followed by a period of integration, as we bring teams from the two organisations together and review services. We expect this will take about two years to complete.
How will customers be able to influence the way the new organisation operates?
We are committed to continuing to provide ways for you to get involved and help us improve our services. We are keen to hear what you think, what’s important and what we can do better. That won’t change with this partnership. Although we don’t yet know what channels or groups there will be, our commitment to you having opportunities to influence things remains a priority.
We are in regular contact with our main customer consultation body, the National Customer Group (NCG) who will be involved throughout this process. The NCG helps to shape services, strategy and policy and monitors decisions taken by the Metropolitan Board. We will work with them to make sure that your voice continues to be heard on issues relating to local, regional and nationwide matters.
Why Thames Valley Housing?
Metropolitan and Thames Valley Housing are two like-minded organisations with complementary strengths. Thames Valley Housing (www.tvha.co.uk) is a housing association which owns, manages or administers approximately 15,000 properties in London and the South East. It provides social rented homes, shared ownership, key worker accommodation (including the staff accommodation for nine NHS Trusts) and homes for private rent. Like Metropolitan, Thames Valley Housing is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to building affordable homes and investing in communities. We are excited by the potential to reach more people and change more lives for the better.