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Berkshire housing associations in merger talks

Discussions have started over plans to merge two housing associations into a new larger organisation with responsibility for more than 13,000 homes and an £80m turnover.

The two Berkshire-based housing associations, Housing Solutions and Bracknell Forest Homes, have confirmed the early stage talks.

It is hoped the merger will lead to a continued commitment to addressing the housing shortage, allowing the new organisation to provide more affordable homes for local people in need.

Orla Gallagher, chief executive of Housing Solutions, said: “The sector is changing and a merger of the two strong organisations would bring significant long- term benefits to existing and future customers of both organisations and would allow us to help address the local affordable housing shortage by increasing our development capacity.”

Cllr Simon Dudley, leader of the Royal Borough and lead member for housing, and a director of the Homes and Communities Agency, said: “Housing Solutions is a long-standing, strong partner of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead and I support the proposed merger which would bring about more affordable homes in the local area, helping address the pressing housing need in the borough.”

A firm decision is yet to be made and staff have been made aware of the talks.

Before a decision is made, Housing Solutions will consult with residents and wants to hear the views of stakeholders.

Holly Burgess, PR and marketing manager at Housing Solutions said: “It’s likely letters will be sent out to customers in April.”

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