E : pha@pentlandhousing.co.uk
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F : 01847 893 221

Partnership Progress Proposed Transfer of Engagements to Cairn HA

Partnership Progress of proposed Transfer of Engagements to Cairn HA  

Our proposed transfer to Cairn Housing Association

We want to deliver the best homes and services we can to our tenants and communities.  We have been looking at how we can do this, both now and in the future. 

A ‘transfer of engagements’ is the legal term for an agreement between two organisations, in this case Pentland and Cairn, which sees the homes, assets and staff of one organisation transferred to another organisation following tenant approval at a secret ballot. 

We plan to make faster progress on modernising and upgrading our homes, to make them warm, comfortable and as energy efficient as possible.  We also want to carry out more environmental improvements and expand on the quality of services we offer to our tenants and other customers. 

Our voluntary Board of Management carried out a detailed strategic review of our options, which involved listening to our tenants, other customers, staff and Board members.   The review concluded that to meet our goals for investment, affordability and quality services that we should seek to partner with another housing association.  Cairn was identified as our preferred partner in 2019 following an openly advertised procurement exercise and since then, other than a pause during the 2020 lockdown, staff and Board members from both organisations have been developing proposals. 

Transferring our homes and services to Cairn would allow for more investment in our homes and our communities, improve how we deliver services and get better value for money by taking advantage of the size, strength and expertise of Cairn. 

This means, if tenants vote for the transfer to go ahead, Pentland Housing Association would no longer exist, Cairn Housing Association would grow by almost 500 homes, and you would become a Cairn tenant.  Your landlord would change, but your tenancy agreement, rights and responsibilities remain exactly the same. 

We are currently finalising the Business Case for the proposed transfer.  In August we will send every tenant a formal Stage 1 Notice.  This document will set out, in detail, the proposals for a transfer to Cairn.  You will be invited to send us your comments and feedback which our Board will consider before finalising the plans and arranging for a ballot.  We anticipate that a formal ballot of all tenants would happen in October.

Please contact us to discuss any aspect of the proposed transfer to Cairn, or alternatively please contact your independent tenant advisors at TPAS Scotland (see below).

The Pentland Tenant Panel

The Tenant Panel has been the tenants’ eyes and ears throughout this process and have met regularly with TPAS and representatives from Pentland and Cairn as the proposed have been developed.  It is hoped that a Tenant Panel may continue, if tenants vote in favour of the transfer, to monitor the delivery of the transfer promises and work with Cairn staff and existing tenants to identify other opportunities for better services in Caithness.  For more information please contact us, or speak to TPAS.

About Cairn 

Cairn has been serving local communities across Scotland for 30 years. They are a not-for-profit  registered charity and housing association, just like Pentland. Cairn has over 3000 homes, and offices in Edinburgh, Inverness and Bellshill.  Ancho, a housing association based in North Ayrshire with almost 700 homes, are part of the Cairn Housing Group through a constitutional partnership.  Cairn has a commercial subsidiary, Cairn Living, which manages garages, factoring services and mid-market rent homes. 

Cairn are committed to creating thriving, well run and sustainable communities that people are proud to call home. Cairn are constantly looking to improve the quality of their homes and services, with a focus on modernisation, efficiency, value for money and enhanced customer services.

To find out more about Cairn please visit www.cairnha.com or contact Neil Golightly, Cairn’s Business Services Manager at neil.golightly@cairnha.com or call 0800 990 3405 for a chat. 

TPAS Scotland - your indepndent advisors 

TPAS are an independent tenant led organisation.  It is their job to:  TPAS are an independent tenant led organisation.  It is their job to:  

  •  Give you independent advice and information about the proposed transfer 

  •    Make sure you have a strong voice in the future of Pentland’s homes and services 

  •     Find out what your priorities are for the future of your homes and services 

  •    Assess the Business Case and financial plans from your proposed new landlord to ensure the proposals are robust and affordable

  •   Clarify any questions, issues or concerns you have 

  • Give you a range of ways to speak to us and ask questions, and 

  • Make sure you understand what you are voting for in the tenant ballot 

For information and advice on any aspect of the transfer, or to offer your feedback on the transfer proposals, please contact TPAS on 0800 049 5761 or email Lesley Baird at Lesley.baird@tpasscotland.org.uk 

The Scottish Housing Regulator 

The Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) is the independent regulator of registered social landlords and local authority housing services in Scotland. The SHR was established in 2011 under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2010. Its objective is to safeguard and promote the interests of current and future tenants of social landlords.

Pentland and Cairn have been in contact throughout their discussions on the transfer with their Statutory Manager at the Scottish Housing Regulator.  The statutory guidance on tenant consultation and approval when the transfer of homes to another registered social landlord is proposed is available on the regulator’s website www.housingregulator.gov.scot.  

Voting on the Transfer 

A tenant ballot is expected to run over 28 days in October 2021. 

The ballot will be run by Civica Election Services (formerly the Electoral Reform Services). Civica are an independent provider of election and voting services.  Civica will issue the ballot to all tenants and collate returns, ensuring that the ballot process is fair and has complete integrity. You will be able to vote online, by text, by phone, by post, and in ballot boxes that will be available to you during the ballot.  Your vote will be anonymous. 

If a majority of tenants vote YES for the transfer, you will become Cairn tenants on 1 April 2022. 

March Timeline to Date

Sept 2018:

Commission facilitation support.

Staff & stakeholder interviews and background research.

Oct 2018:

Board 2-day workshop to consider & appraise options.

Nov 2018:

Board decide to explore potential of a partnership.

Board informed staff & Regulator of decision.

Staff presentation with a Q&A session.

Dec 2018:

“Getting ourselves ready” work programme agreed.

Jan–May 2019:

Support secured for various work streams (e.g. business plans).

Support secured for tenants.

Regulator attended Board meeting & endorsed process.

June 2019:

Constitutional partnership invitation advertised.

July 2019:

Transfer of engagement (TOE) proposal from Cairn Housing Association.

July-August 2019:

Tenant, Board and staff TOE evaluation and recommendations.

21 August 2019:

Formal Board consideration/approval to further explore TOE.

March 2020:

Pause in transfer discussions as Pentland and Cairn respond to the impact of coronavirus lockdown on their respective services 

October 2020: 

Discussions with Cairn resume and due diligence conclude

Dec 2020:

Tenant consultation begins on priorities for transfer business case

July 2021 :

Tenant consultation begins on outline proposals included in business case

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