At two Special General Meetings on 16 January 2018, the Executive Boards of Notting Hill and Genesis Housing Associations will ask their shareholders to vote for a merger, first proposed on 20 July 2017. This follows only a year after the collapse, at the last minute, of an earlier proposed merger between Genesis and Thames Valley Housing.
Residents have organized a briefing meeting for shareholders on 11 January 2018, (to which MPs and the press are invited), where they will explain how the Boards have sent shareholders deliberately misleading information. Residents claim that the Boards’ plan to vote on one resolution to approve the merger on 16 January and drastically change the Rules of both organisations, is unlawful and in breach of their current Rules. They are now considering legal action against both Boards and are sending a “letter before action”.
Residents are also about to make a formal complaint that the consultation with residents about the merger was in breach of the Homes and Communities Agency’s Tenant Involvement and Empowerment (TIE) standard, which was revised on 14 July 2017.
The proposed Rule changes delete the primary object of providing social housing, reduce the power of shareholders, reduce scrutiny and accountability of the Board and aim to give more powers to the Board. Robin Sharp, current shareholder, and founder member and first Chair of the predecessor organization to Genesis, Paddington Churches Housing Association, notes that verbal assurances given by the Chair of Genesis, Dipesh Shah and Kate Davies, CEO of Notting Hill Housing Trust, have not materialised and there are no due diligence reports available, despite these having been promised.
One resident commented, “Despite the obvious lessons of the Grenfell tragedy, they are fast tracking the process of becoming a private property developer: evidence of this is in Notting Hill Housing’s five year pipeline, (August 2017), which proposes to build a mere 9.9% of social housing against a whopping 40.1% of private sales. The disappearance of social housing is also clear from their brochure, ‘Presentation to investors on the proposed merger’ produced by the Boards on 19 July 2017.”
The briefing meeting is this Thursday 11 January 2018 at 6.30pm at Macmillan Suite, Portcullis House, 1 Parliament Street, London SW1A 2JR. (Arrive early to clear security.)
The shareholder Special General Meetings are on Tuesday 16 January 2018 at 6pm –
Notting Hill Shareholders at Notting Hill Housing, 1- 3 Sussex Place, London W6 9EA
Genesis Shareholders at Atelier House, 64 Pratt Street, London NW1 0DL.
Residents will be holding a peaceful protest outside the meetings on 16 January to protest against the proposed merger and support shareholders who are voting against the merger.
Housing association merger will lead to social cleansing, warn tenants;
For further information contact:
Tim Baster at firstname.lastname@example.org
Gemini Verney-Dyde at email@example.com 07808 268 134
Natasha Sivanandan – briefing co-ordinator: 07432 600 230