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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

Formal consultation on our proposed transfer to Cairn Housing Association

Pentland Housing Association’s Board is proposing a transfer of our homes and services to Cairn Housing Association, which would bring new investment to your homes and affordable rents.  Our team would continue to work from a local office in Thurso as part of the Cairn team.

We have sent all tenants a formal Stage 1 Consultation Notice which sets out the promises to Pentland tenants from Cairn if tenants approve the transfer.  We are inviting you to read through these proposals and let us know what you think about the partnership by 31 August 2021.  The final decision on whether the transfer goes ahead will be yours, through a formal ballot in October.

Our transfer promises

We believe this transfer could bring considerable benefits for you, as a tenant of Pentland.  If tenants vote yes in the secret ballot, these are Cairn’s promises to you:

  •   Cairn will FREEZE rents in the first year of the transfer and provide an affordable rent guarantee for the following four years, with lower rent increases than proposed by a stand-alone Pentland
  •   Cairn will invest £6,300,000 in your homes and communities over the next five years, with hundreds of new kitchens and other home improvements guaranteed
  •  Local services from a new combined Cairn and Pentland team, with new options for getting in touch online.  Existing Pentland staff will be protected and will transfer to Cairn
  •   Cairn will provide financial security and opportunities for new services to Pentland’s tenants by being part of the larger Cairn Housing Group

Your opportunity to get involved

The publication of our formal Stage 1 Notice,  marks the start of a formal consultation period where we are inviting you to give us your feedback and share your views on the detailed partnership proposals.  This consultation period will close on 31 August.

There are a variety of ways you can have your say:

Partnership events – come along to meet with Cairn and Pentland staff

We are hosting online video meetings to meet with Cairn senior staff and talk in more detail about some of the partnership promises, with times scheduled on each of these days for 2.30pm and 6.30pm.  To book a place at any of these meetings please contact TPAS at Lesley.baird@tpasscotland.org.uk or call 0800 049 5761.

  • 9th August – Rents and Finance
  • 16th August – Investment Programme and Repair
  • 23rd August – Customer Services

Free Community Fun Days

We are holding community fun days where you can meet with Cairn and Pentland staff. 

  • 12th August – 11am to 1pm at Messy Nessy Play on Rotterdam Street in Thurso.  Teas and coffees for grown-ups, and soft play for children.
  • 13th August – 11am to 1pm at the Pulteney Centre on Huddart Street in Wick.  Teas and coffees for grown-ups, and a bouncy castle for children.

Your Landlord. Your Choice 

If you vote YES to Pentland joining Cairn

If Pentland does not join Cairn

Rent Guarantee

A rent freeze in the first year of the partnership then an affordable rent guarantee of inflationary rent increases linked to Consumer Price Index only (currently 1.9%) over the next four years

Thereafter, the Cairn Housing Group rent policy applies with annual inflationary rent increases linked to Retail Price Index (currently 2.9%)

Annual Inflationary rent increases of Consumer Price Index (currently 1.9%) plus 1.5% for the next five years

Then Consumer Price Index plus an additional 1% for the following five years

Money to invest in your homes

£6,300,000 of investment in homes and communities over the first five years after the transfer

In addition to significant investment in windows, doors and new energy efficient heating systems, Cairn are also committing over £850,000 in energy efficiency measures such as wall insulation, deep retrofit and solar photo-voltaic systems

£4,320,000 over five years

Challenges in meeting government energy efficiency standards

Money to invest in your community

£500,000 included in the investment guarantee to support environmental projects in your community plus an additional £480,000 included for upgrades to garage sites. Tenants will be consulted on where to prioritise investment

Limited capacity to tackle environmental issues

Money to invest in community development

Tenants and voluntary groups can apply to Cairn Community Fund to receive money for projects and initiatives that benefit the community

Cairn will provide a bursary programme which will provide six customers in each of the first five years with grants of up to £250 for training and education courses to improve employability

No resources set aside

Tenancy conditions and services

All your current tenancy rights will be protected

You would become a tenant of Cairn Housing Association, with a welcome pack issued when the transfer completes

A local office in Thurso will continue to be the base for local services

Access to improved customer service and enhanced digital services through the Cairn Connect service and My Cairn account

Current tenancy rights protected

Continued local Pentland identity

Local office

Governance

Pentland would cease to operate and would no longer be registered with the Scottish Housing Regulator

Cairn Housing Association Board would be responsible for all aspects of governance

One place on the Cairn Board for an existing Pentland Board member, with opportunities for additional representation or involvement through a new tenant panel

Pentland continues as a registered housing association and charity

Pentland Board responsible for all aspects of governance, service delivery and performance

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. 

tial SMarch 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

August 2021:

 Formal tenant consultation and publication of Stage 1 Notice setting out the transfer in detial 

September 2021 

Publication of Stage 2 Notice 

October 2021 Formal Ballot of all Tenants on proposal to transfer to Cairn Housing Association  
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