Our customers are at the heart of everything we do. So, before coming together, we consulted with them and used their views to guide our merger.
More than 3,200 people served by both Hanover and Anchor gave their views. The formal consultation process on the merger has ended and we are very grateful to all those who responded.
Below is a summary of what we did and the views we received.
We wanted to ensure that those served by Anchor and Hanover were informed about our proposals and able to express their views. Between late-May to mid-July 2018, we invited views from all those served by Anchor’s and Hanover’s housing services.
We provided a range of ways to find out more and contribute views. These varied slightly between the two organisations, and included:
3,240 people gave feedback, representing approximately 7% of housing customers contacted.
The majority of those who responded identified both benefits and areas where they had concerns or sought reassurance.
The key benefits identified were:
The clear priority that people identified for a new organisation is that customers are put first. Respondents also told us that they would want to see improved or retained property standards with a priority placed on repairs and maintenance, providing more or better facilities and, in some cases, larger-scale modernisation.
Some people were clear that they dislike change and some did not see the need for the proposed merger. Many wanted assurance that costs would not rise or service levels fall.
Respondents wanted to be sure that they would not lose security of tenure, have changes made to their leases, or see changes to their care and support.
Many people also wanted reassurance that rents and service charges would not go up. While rents and service charges could change as a result of cost inflation and the rent regime applied by government, we have committed that rents and service charges would not rise as a result of the proposed merger.
We can also confirm that, other than the change of landlord from either Hanover Housing Association or Anchor to ‘Anchor Hanover Group’ (an enlarged organisation which includes both Hanover and Anchor), there will be no changes to the protections in tenancy agreements (security of tenure) or to the terms of leases or tenancies. The service Anchor’s care home residents receive will be unchanged and the merger will not affect the care provider at Hanover estates.
Our aim is to maintain and improve the service we deliver and to use the enlarged resources to improve our purchasing power. These objectives are in line with what customers have told us they want.