Just over three years ago, Eastlands Homes and City South Manchester merged to become One Manchester. The merger was intended to provide our customers with a better, more efficient and broader service and I am pleased to say that the things we hoped to achieve by bringing the two organisations together have happened. The merger has also given us the capacity to build many more much-needed homes in Manchester.
The changes we are consulting on now will have no obvious impact on our residents but they do mean that the way we are organised “behind the scenes” will change to improve how One Manchester is run. This involves a simplification of what is known as our “group structure.” Instead of One Manchester being the legal parent of Eastlands Homes and City South Manchester, there will only be one organisation, One Manchester, that acts as the landlord (instead of what is now technically three). There will be no changes to our policies, procedures, leadership or staff as a result of this change.
Tenants and leaseholders of Eastlands Homes and City South Manchester will become tenants and leaseholders of One Manchester.
There would be no change to the security of tenancy or lease, or to the services you already receive. Your rights as a tenant or leaseholder will not change as a result of this group simplification.
We already have one customer contact centre, one phone number and staff who deliver services on behalf of One Manchester – none of this will change.
Three years on from the merger, there are still some internal processes and procedures that we have to do more than once, in some cases three times, because the landlords are registered separately. This makes the Group complicated to manage and not as cost effective as we’d like it to be.
We are currently looking at everything we need to do and there are a number of steps we’d need to take to make this happen by 1 April 2019. In December 2018 our Board will be making a final decision on whether to proceed. We have a duty to consult with our tenants and leaseholders on this matter and our Board will be taking their views into account before making a final decision.
Please refer to the ‘frequently asked questions’ below which will hopefully reassure you that your position as a tenant or leaseholder will not be affected in any way.
If we go ahead with the proposals, we will continue to let you know about the changes. We won’t need to send a new tenancy agreement or lease, but we will send tenants and leaseholders a formal notice with details of the new landlord name after the group simplification.
The main thing to remember is that these proposals wouldn’t affect your rights, your rent or the services you receive.
We would like to hear your comments about our proposals to simplify the Group. We need your thoughts by 5pm on 30 November 2018 and you can comment by completing out contact form here.
Alternatively you can:
Write to - Communications Team, One Manchester, Lovell House, Archway 6, Hulme, Manchester, M15 5RN
Call: 0330 355 1000
The actual process that we will undertake happens in two stages:
We, as your landlord (either Eastlands Homes or City South Manchester) need to change our legal structure. Both Eastlands Homes and City South Manchester are currently charitable companies registered with Companies House and will need to become “community benefit societies”. A community benefit society is an alternative to a ‘company’. It’s a very common structure for housing associations. One Manchester is already a community benefit society and this is the first step towards simplifying the group. Eastlands Homes and City South Manchester will still be charities and registered providers of social housing registered with the Regulator of Social Housing.
Once we have converted Eastlands Homes and City South Manchester to community benefit societies, we can bring both of them and One Manchester together into one landlord called “One Manchester”.
Yes, we will still operate as a not for profit and all money will continue to be reinvested in our homes and communities as before.
No. All of the changes will be done by us behind the scenes, so there is no change to the way that you make payments.
No. All of the changes will be done by us behind the scenes, so you don’t need to do anything.
No. Anything in relation to Housing Benefit will be dealt with by us.
The changes to our group structure will have no impact on the service charge or rent you pay, whether this is for your home or any other property that you rent, for example a garage. This will be reviewed each year as we would normally do and we continue to follow the national guidance on rents from government.
The right to buy is a personal right so you could move to a different property within the Group and exercise your preserved right to buy. The properties would all be held by One Manchester so there will be no distinction between City South Manchester and Eastlands Homes properties.