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Chester-based housing trust could be taken over

Published date: 23 October 2012 |
Published by: Jim Green
Read more articles by Jim Green


The Trust could be taken over just 12 months after merging with Cosmopolitan Housing Group 

CHESTER and District Housing Trust (CDHT) could be taken over just 12 months after merging with Cosmopolitan Housing Group.

CDHT’s £1.3 billion merger with Cosmopolitan was completed last year but  the 14,000-home group could now be taken over.

Cosmopolitan’s board said the organisation had experienced significant challenges and has started talks with the 54,000-home Riverside Group.

When CDHT merged with Cosmopolitan, tenants were promised rents would not be affected and told the move would help the trust cope with cuts and protect jobs.

It is unclear at this stage what impact a possible merger with Riverside would have on tenants and trust workers in Chester.

Cosmopolitan chief executive John Denny said: “The interests of the communities we work alongside must always be our first priority.

“Our organisations are both people focused and geographically aligned. Through joining Riverside we could reinforce our commitment to customers at a time when, for many reasons, it is most needed.

“We are working hard to try and achieve a great future as part of Riverside.”

Cosmopolitan reduced its development programme over the summer making 22 workers redundant, and it has informed social housing regulator Homes and Communities Agency of the talks with Riverside.

The merger would be dependent on the agreement of lenders and the boards of both organisations.

Riverside chief executive Carol Matthews said: “We are the right type of organisation to partner Cosmopolitan. We have financial strength and considerable experience of successfully bringing other housing associations into our group.

“Cosmopolitan’s stock complements our profile really well. Together we will both be stronger as businesses and better able to serve our customers.

“I’m looking forward to welcoming them and their tenants into the Riverside family.”

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