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Proposed Merger with Westway Housing Consultation Results

You can find the consultation results and FAQs below.

31st January 2024

lnquilab Housing Association Limited (lnquilab) is currently holding partnership discussions with Westway Housing Association Limited (Westway) as a precursor to a potential merger to become Karibu Community Homes in 2024.

To ensure that the voices of customers are heard and to maintain compliance with regulatory standards, lnquilab carried out a consultation which ran for 6 weeks from late November to December 2023.

The exercise was to obtain customer feedback and comments in relation to the partnership prior to the commencement of the proposed merger. Residents were invited to comment through various channels.

Twenty-five responses were received under the following areas below:



Your Questions Answered

We hope that this fact sheet answers some of the questions you may have about the proposed partnership of Westway Housing Association Limited (Westway) and Inquilab Housing Association Limited (Inquilab) and what this proposal might mean for you.

What exactly is the change that is proposed?

The proposal is that Westway undertakes a legal process called a “Transfer of Engagements” to move all of its business into Inquilab to form one single organisation. A Transfer of Engagements is a process where the assets and liabilities of one organisation become vested in another organisation to effectively form one merged organisation. Westway would no longer exist as a separate entity.

As part of the partnership, Inquilab would then adopt a new name, which it is proposed would be Karibu Community Homes, to reflect the new partnership.

What would happen to my rights?

Both Inquilab and Westway are Registered Providers of Social Housing regulated by the Regulator of Social Housing and are therefore committed to ensuring your rights are maintained.  This means that:

  • Your tenancy agreement would not change and would continue unaffected. 
  • If you are a tenant, all your rights would remain the same - you could, for instance, pass on your tenancy and carry out a mutual exchange, if your current tenancy agreement allows you to.
  • Tenants would also have the same “security of tenure” as you have now, including the right to remain in your home for as long as you like provided you keep to the terms of your tenancy.
  • For shared owners and other leaseholders, your lease and the terms of the lease would remain the same.

Would I need to sign something?

No. Neither Inquilab’s nor Westway’s tenants would be required to sign anything. Westway’s tenancies / leases would transfer automatically to Inquilab (which would change its name to Karibu Community Homes).

What would be the benefits for customers?

There are a number of benefits identified which are summarised below:

1. Investment in homes and communities.

We would have a greater ability to invest in homes and community initiatives to support our existing and future customers. The reason we would have the ability to do this is that when organisations grow in the way we’ve proposed, costs reduce - for example, over time, we would only need one finance and housing system.

2. A better employee experience, including attracting talent from our communities.

We would be in a stronger position to grow, develop and train our staff. We would be able to attract and retain talent, particularly from the communities we operate in.

3. A stronger say in partnership working.

It would make us a more attractive partner for other housing associations and local authorities, meaning that we would have a stronger say in what and how things are delivered within the wider community, such as youth services, community safety and how the local authority allocates homes. 

4. Retaining our position as BME housing associations

Both Inquilab and Westway are BME housing associations, organisations that were in the main, created in the 1980’s in response to a lack of quality housing available to black and minority ethnic (BME) persons. Now, BME housing associations play a crucial role in providing quality housing for tenants of all backgrounds, but their work goes far beyond housing and includes advocating for anti-racism and inclusion, acting as vehicles for neighbourhood regeneration and community cohesion. We see that our combined organisation would provide a stronger voice for the BME sector.

What would happen to my rent and other charges?   

We will increase rents as usual (and in line with the requirements set by the Government) and we will write to you early next year to confirm what this increase will be. However, this increase will take place regardless of whether we proceed with the partnership.

The way your rent and service charge increases would be the same following the completion of the partnership.

For shared owners and other leaseholders, your lease dictates how rents are increased and there would be no change in this process.

What happens if I am in arrears?

If you owe money at the time the proposed partnership goes ahead (rent arrears, court costs, or money for damage or a rechargeable repair), then these debts would stay with you and we can still enforce existing Court Judgements for these arrears. If you have concerns now about arrears then please contact the Income Team on or 0208 607 7777.

What would happen to Housing Benefit and Universal Credit?

Housing Benefit and Universal Credit claims would remain unchanged. The relevant local authority Benefit team would still be responsible for assessing and paying benefits on the basis of personal circumstances. Help and advice would continue to be given to residents or leaseholders about benefit entitlement and support for you if you are experiencing financial difficulties.

What happens to my transfer application?

Both Inquilab and Westway are committed to honoring applications for transfer, meaning that we would make sure that your banding and length of time waiting would be retained after the completion of the partnership.

Would I still be able to contact the usual staff members I deal with now?

Yes, there are no changes proposed for the majority of our staff in relation to the partnership. The staff members involved in delivering services to you should not change.

What happens with the repairs service?  Would there be any changes to how anti-social behaviour or other issues are dealt with?

We do not expect you to experience any immediate changes in how we respond to your needs so you would report repairs and contact us in the same way you do now.  We do though, want to further improve services and would be looking at ways to make things easier for you and ensuring we tackle issues when they arise. 

Shared owners and other leaseholders would remain responsible for repairs and maintaining their own properties, unless there are agreements in place for us to carry these out.

Why are the changes proposed now?

We have been working to deliver better services in communities for a while now and we see the proposed changes as a way of improving this even further. We want to think about what is important to customers and how we can deliver effective and value-for money services given the current environment and to ensure there is better consistency for all our customers.

Like all Registered Providers of Social Housing, Inquilab is subject to external funding cuts and other financial pressures. So that we can cope with these challenges and in order to protect and develop services, we want to ensure we can be more effective by cutting out duplication and improving efficiency through smarter working.  This proposed partnership would help us achieve this.

When are the changes proposed?

Subject to the outcome of resident consultation, we want to make the legal changes to affect the partnership by 1st April 2024, but other changes to how we restructure our services would be phased in over time and we want to ensure we take views on board in these future changes.  Nothing will happen until we have completed our consultation with our residents and taken their views into account.

Will there be opportunities for customers to get involved with the changes?

Yes – Inquilab and Westway are both committed to involving customers in the way services are shaped, improved and delivered.  There are opportunities for customers to be involved in decision-making.

Are there any disadvantages to the proposed partnership?

The only disadvantage we have identified with the proposed partnership is that Westway would cease to exist following completion because it would become part of Inquilab (to be renamed as Karibu Community Homes.  However, we are convinced that the proposed partnership is in the interests of residents as it would put the new merged organisation in a better position to withstand external economic pressures, make costs savings, and in the medium to longer term achieve the benefits for residents we have outlined above.

What are the costs associated with the proposed partnership?

The proposed partnership would inevitably involve initial staff time and external advisors’ costs. However, we are confident these costs would be quickly recovered through the savings that a larger, streamlined organisation would achieve.  Residents will bear none of the costs of the consolidation and the savings made in the longer term would mean we are able to improve and add to the services residents benefit from.

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