On 9th Novembers 2023, Reidvale sent you a Stage 2 Notice on the proposal for Reidvale Housing Association to transfer its interests to Places for People Scotland (trading name for Castle Edinvar Housing Association).
This notice outlined the outcome of the Stage 1 consultation, which ran from 22 September to 23 October 2023. During the consultation, Reidvale and Places for People Scotland tried to speak with every Reidvale Tenant. We also welcomed feedback from factored owner customers and shareholding members. Many tenants provided their feedback and asked questions. Thank you to everyone for taking the time to share your views.
We managed to engage with over 80% of our tenants in the 4 weeks. There was support for Places for People Scotland’s package of transfer promises with 72% of tenants indicating they would be voting YES when the tenant ballot is held. Some tenants preferred not to say or were undecided. Just 8% said they did not support the transfer.
The Reidvale Management Committee carefully considered all Stage 1 feedback/ representations and received weekly reports during the process to keep them informed.
Given the very positive responses from the majority tenants, and in consultation with TIS, we have agreed with Places for People Scotland that there are no changes required to the transfer proposal as a result of the consultation. The next stage is to seek the approval of tenants to the transfer by conducting the independent tenant ballot that will be run by Civica Election Services.
The ballot will ask just one question on whether you want the transfer to proceed with a YES or NO option for you to cast your vote. The ballot will commence on Friday 10 November 2023 and close at 5pm on Monday 11 December 2023. For the transfer to happen, the ballot result must demonstrate that a majority of tenants voting, vote in favour of the transfer. Once the ballot closes, the result will be reported to our Management Committee, to Places for People Scotland’s Board and to the Scottish Housing Regulator as required by statutory guidance. We will then quickly communicate the result to you and other key stakeholders.
Only tenants can make this change happen. Your vote really does count, so when you receive your ballot paper, please take the time to cast your vote and vote YES for a bright future and a new beginning for Reidvale.
If you want to find out more about the consultation sessions please visit this page.
Why is Reidvale looking at a transfer to another housing association?
For over 3 years, the Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) has been engaging with Reidvale HA due to concerns about our governance and financial management. Whilst we have made some progress in addressing these issues, over the past years, more serious issues have come to light. Currently, we are still Working Towards Compliance with the Scottish Housing Regulator’s Regulatory Standards.
Today, we have a 30 year financial plan that relies on us imposing very high rent increases (10% per year) over the next 8 years. Even with this, and taking out new loans, we would still need to deliver investment over a timeframe that we feel would be too long for tenants to wait. As some tenants will know too well, there is already a backlog of replacements (kitchens, bathrooms, heating, windows). In addition, we also need to tackle the major programme to address failing stonework in our tenements. A cost savings programme would also be needed making it difficult for us provide the services you expect and to be the anchor of our community – a role that has been at the heart of Reidvale for so many years.
Given the extent of the problems, we carried out a strategic options appraisal to look at what we could do if we stayed an independent association against what was possible if we joined with another well governed and financially strong housing association. In April 2022 , we decided that seeking a partnership with another through a transfer of engagements was the best option to address the issues we faced and to do much more for our tenants and service users.
After a detailed competitive process open to all Scottish RSLs, the Management Committee has decided that the top scoring submission from Places for People Scotland provides an excellent offer to tenants and the wider community and that they should be appointed as Preferred Transfer Partner.