Merger means thousands more affordable homes will be built

Left, Peter Hawes, and right, Philip Burton, the chairman and vice-chairman of Flagship Housing Grou

Left, Peter Hawes, and right, Philip Burton, the chairman and vice-chairman of Flagship Housing Group. Picture: FLAGSHIP - Credit: Archant

Thousands more affordable homes will be built in the region, thanks to the merger of two housing associations.

The partnership of Flagship Group and Victory Housing Trust will create the largest housing association in the East of England owning and managing 28,000 homes.

The investment is expected to support 400 new jobs with Victory joining Flagship as a subsidiary, but retaining its identity and ensuring continuity of tenancy for its Norfolk residents as well as stability for its staff.

Philip Burton, vice-chairman of Flagship Group, and chairman of Victory until a replacement is elected, said: 'There will be a significant increase in the number of new homes being built, and £15m savings in the first five years.

'Coming together means we can develop about 2,500 new homes that we would not have been able to, if we had stayed apart. We can build more than 11,000 homes together over 10 years, with 9,500 of them affordable homes.

'We will also make VAT savings from becoming a partner and get better borrowing deals. This is an exciting time for Victory as together we can deliver more affordable homes and better-quality services to our residents and our communities.'

He said there would be no compulsory job losses for at least two years, and, with normal staff turnover, probably not even then.

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The move will also raise the profile of the Flagship Group, which is a home-grown organisation,

By coming together, the new partnership will also be more influential and will look to prioritise the need for more affordable homes.

Peter Hawes, chairman of Flagship Group, said: 'Collectively, we have enhanced financial strength, greater effectiveness and efficiency, the ability to invest more in our existing homes, and support our customers.'

Based in North Walsham, Victory owns and manages over 5,000 properties in Norfolk, mainly in the north of the county, serving over 10,000 residents.

Based in Norfolk and Suffolk, Flagship manages over 22,700 homes.

Over the next 10 years, the new partnership has set a target to invest £534m in maintaining and improving existing homes.