Merger of northern Lincolnshire’s dominant social housing providers called off

A potential merger between northern Lincolnshire’s two dominant social housing providers has been called off.

In September, Grimsby-based Lincolnshire Housing Partnership (LHP) and Scunthorpe-based Ongo Homes (Ongo) announced they were looking at a joint merger. The new company LHP Ongo would have been formed in 2024.

Tenants’ views were sought in October. However, at independent board meetings last month, the two social housing providers concluded it was better to remain separate.

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In a joint statement, Murray Macdonald, LHP chief executive, and Ongo’s chief executive Steve Hepworth announced the touted merger would not happen, saying: “Following detailed discussions, LHP and Ongo have agreed that the two organisations can best serve their residents by remaining as separate entities and are therefore no longer intending to pursue merger discussions.”

LHP’s website statement on the end of merger discussions stresses: “This decision was not taken lightly. We have invested considerable time in exploring the potential of this merger and its impact. This ensures the continuation of existing services for our customers and tenants.”

Customer rights, repairs, rent and charges are unaffected by the outcome. “We will be continuing to improve our existing homes and services, and building more much needed affordable housing in our areas,” Ongo stated on its website. It also said the boards had agreed “it wasn’t the right time for us to merge”.

Ongo Homes owned just under 10,000, or 85 per cent, of North Lincolnshire’s social housing stock in 2022, according to government data. LHP were similarly dominant in North East Lincolnshire, owning 72.6 per cent of its total social housing stock of 9,815 homes.

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Original artice: https://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/all-about/scunthorpe

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