Changes to WM Housing Group and its subsidiary boards

We are consulting with all our customers about changes to WM Housing Group and its subsidiary boards.

Over the last few years we have grown as new housing associations have joined our Group. Until now each association has had its own board made up of a variety of different people acting as non-executive directors, and a parent board which sets out how we will work together as a Group.

As we have grown, however, this approach has become more complex and creates duplication as we ask each board for approval on each decision.

We would like to merge most of the responsibilities of our subsidiary housing association boards into one shared board. That means that a small number of board members, potentially nine, would be a member of the board of each housing association, as well as the parent board.

This is very common for housing groups like ours and means we can make decisions more quickly. All members of the board would be independently selected for their skills rather than being part of a specific group e.g. the local council or customers.

Local accountability

We also want to keep local accountability for services to our customers and so each area (Birmingham and the surrounding areas for Family and Optima, Coventry for Whitefriars and Herefordshire and Worcestershire for West Mercia Homes) would have its own local stakeholder board. Each board would comprise a range of people, seven in total for each board, and their role would be to make sure each subsidiary delivers excellent service and to adjust the way we deliver services to reflect local needs. The local stakeholder board may include local councillors, tenants and leaseholders depending on skills.

Changes to tenancy or lease

The changes will not affect  your tenancy or lease.

Proposed timetable

The parent board and subsidiary boards agreed, in principle, to the proposed changes at their meetings in May. All boards will consider the detailed implications of the proposed change, together with any customer feedback from this consultation, at their meetings in July 2017.

We also need to consult other people about the changes notably shareholders (some of whom are also customers of Optima Community Association) and Coventry City Council. We will be talking to these people over the summer and, subject to their views, we intend that the new arrangements will be effective from autumn 2017.

Customers can email their views to us boardchanges@wmhousing.co.uk. We need to know your views by Friday 14 July, 2017.