Pentland Housing Association tenants are to be formally consulted on a proposed transfer of engagements to Cairn Housing Association, which will bring new investment to homes and a locked-in affordable rent guarantee, from a new combined Cairn and Pentland team in Caithness.
Pentland and Cairn plan to make faster progress on modernising and upgrading homes, to make them warm, comfortable and as energy efficient as possible. They also want to carry out more environmental improvements and expand on the quality of services they offer to tenants and other customers.
Transferring Pentland’s homes and services to Cairn would allow for £6.3m to be invested in tenants’ homes and communities, offering a guarantee of hundreds of new kitchens and other home improvements. Pentland tenants’ are being consulted on proposals that are anticipated to achieve better value for money by taking advantage of the size, strength and expertise of Cairn.
Cairn has guaranteed a rent freeze in the first year of the partnership, and lower rent increases in future years compared to a standalone Pentland. This means, that for a Pentland tenant who currently pays £400 a month in rent they will benefit from an immediate monthly saving of £14, and a total cumulative saving over five years of £1,661.
This partnership with Pentland, if it goes ahead, will strengthen the Cairn Housing Group. By growing Cairn by almost 500 additional homes, we can be more efficient and achieve greater value for money, which allows us to invest in improvements to our homes while ensuring that rents are affordable. We would also welcome opportunities for enhanced services from a new combined Cairn and Pentland office in Caithness, which would add new skills and expertise to our Thurso team.
Jim Hair, Chair of Pentland Housing Association, said:
Pentland and Cairn have distinct histories and strengths, and both feel that this proposal offers a great opportunity for tenants. Cairn is an ambitious forward-looking organisation that has a track record of investing in homes and modernising services. Cairn has a considerable number of homes in Caithness and the wider Highland region and they share our vision of excellent services to our communities. I would strongly urge our tenants to vote YES to the transfer.
Don Jamieson, Chair of Cairn Housing Association, said:
We are excited to have the opportunity to expand our services in Caithness. Cairn and Pentland share similar values and a commitment to offering the highest possible quality of services. We are looking forward to getting to know Pentland’s tenants, to provide great homes, great services, with great people.
Pentland Housing Association tenants have been issued with a formal Stage 1 Consultation Notice, with a ballot anticipated for October 2021.