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Talks begin between housing associations to create East Anglia’s largest social landlord

PUBLISHED: 13:16 07 March 2018 | UPDATED: 13:16 07 March 2018

Flagship Group is in talks over a partnership with Victory Housing Trust. Picture: Flagship Group.

Flagship Group is in talks over a partnership with Victory Housing Trust. Picture: Flagship Group.

Flagship Group

Two housing associations are in discussions over a partnership to create East Anglia’s biggest housing group.

Flagship Group and Victory Housing Trust say talks are at an early stage but believe that working together would enable them to build more houses and offer better services to tenants.

The proposed partnership would create a landlord overseeing 28,000 homes and able to deliver 10,000 homes over the next decade, of which 7,000 would be affordable.

The two organisations say they would also be able to invest £500m in maintaining and improving existing homes.

Philip Burton, chairman of North Walsham-based Victory Housing Trust, said: “We are exploring whether through working together we can deliver more new affordable homes and better quality services to our residents and our communities.

“An important part of this will be retaining and developing our people, as well as being able to invest more to meet housing need in our region.”

Peter Hawes, chairman of Flagship Group, added: “Our organisations share similar visions and values, and through working with our staff and customers we will explore how best to jointly manage our homes in Norfolk – bringing the best of both organisations together.”

The structure of the partnership is still under discussion, but it is envisaged that £22m-turnover Victory, would join the larger Flagship Group, retaining its identity and offering continuity for residents and its 90 staff. A final decision may not be made before next year, said a spokesman.

Flagship, which works across Norfolk and Suffolk, turned over £119.5m last year and employs 820 staff. It owns and manages more than 22,000 homes across the east of England, and has a maintenance and repair business, RFT Services, as well as gas servicing company Gasway, which it bought in 2016.

Victory Housing Trust is a charitable registered social landlord which owns and manages more than 5,000 properties in Norfolk, and serves more than 10,000 residents. Most of its properties are in north Norfolk, but it also has homes in Broadland, Great Yarmouth, Breckland, South Norfolk, and King’s Lynn and West Norfolk.

It has built 948 affordable homes since it was founded in 2006 and is currently delivering around 200 new homes a year.

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