Merger meets more housing need

Oaklee Trinity Plans Bangor The OakleeTrinity merger combines financial strength to build more new homes and meet housing need.

Oaklee Homes Group and Trinity Housing have merged, creating the largest housing association in Northern Ireland with over 9,000 properties in management.

The merger has been approved and welcomed by the Department for Social Development and this development fits well with the objectives of the Northern Ireland Housing Strategy.

OakleeTrinity will combine its financial resources and staff expertise to deliver many more new homes to meet housing need, as well as deliver and develop a range of leading and high quality tenant services.

We aim to be the first housing association to raise over £100 million directly from the capital markets to fund our new development programme, which in our first year will deliver an estimated 400 new homes.

Ian Elliott, Chief Executive – Services (formerly Group Chief Executive of Oaklee Homes Group), said that the combined organisation will be stronger and better able to respond to changes in the housing sector: “Both organisations have the needs and interests of all residents as their foremost priority and will continue to ensure they receive exceptional standards of service. The housing sector is facing a number of challenging issues and changes, and housing associations must be smarter and more creative in meeting tenants’ needs. A combined organisation will give us a better position to respond to the changing environment, including local and government policy and help provide the housing and stability that communities need.”

Arthur Canning, Chief Executive – Operations (formerly Chief Executive of Trinity Housing), said: “This move is good news for the tenants and staff of both housing associations. Both Trinity and Oaklee are robust, successful organisations and will gain from economies of scale and efficiencies by combining our resources. As a market leader in the housing sector, we are focused on playing our part in helping to build and develop sustainable communities.”

Seventy-one residents at Bloomfield Road in Bangor have voted to transfer to OakleeTrinity from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. This pilot scheme, approved by the Department for Social Development, is the first stage of the Housing Executive’s re-organisation as significant elements of its housing stock are transferred to housing associations in Northern Ireland. The Housing Executive has indicated its plans to transfer up to 2,500 units to housing associations to facilitate the essential investment that is needed in its properties.

OakleeTrinity has pledged to spend £3.2 million on the upgrade of the homes and the architects’ plans (pictured above) show the extent of the planned development. When it came to the vote, the decision was 95 per cent in favour of moving to OakleeTrinity.

Ian Elliott, Chief Executive – Services, said: “This is an important project and a great opportunity for Oaklee to help make a major investment in former Housing Executive homes in Bloomfield. This project highlights the great opportunities for OakleeTrinity working with the Department for Social Development and the Housing Executive to improve tenants’ homes. I am pleased that the tenants in Bloomfield have put their trust in OakleeTrinity to upgrade and look after their homes. The OakleeTrinity team is committed to working with our new tenants and the wider Bloomfield community to deliver these improvements as sensitively and as quickly as possible.”

OakleeTrinity will carry out complete refurbishment and modernisation of the 71 properties with rendering, improved insulation, new windows, kitchens, bathrooms, rewiring, external works and new heating systems.

We anticipate that work on the first phase of the scheme redevelopment will commence in spring 2014 with completion in the summer of 2015. We look forward to welcoming residents as new tenants of OakleeTrinity.

Print Leslie Morrell House

37-41 May Street, Belfast, BT1 4DN

Maple House

Beechill Business Park

96 Beechill Business Road

Belfast, BT8 7QN

Tel: 0845 073 0005

Website: www.oakleetrinity.org.uk

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