New association 'better placed' to improve services and build more homes
The Guinness Trust Buildings on Fulham Palace Road in Hammersmith
May 8, 2023
Two housing associations with properties in local area have confirmed they are planning to merge, creating a huge new association with around 70,000 homes.
Shepherd’s Bush Housing Group, or SBHG, which has its head office in Chiswick and The Guinness Partnership say they have entered partnership discussions, and hope to come together formally in autumn.
The plan is for SBHG to become a subsidiary of Guinness, while maintaining its brand and heritage across west London.
Shepherd’s Bush Housing Association was founded in 1966 by members of St Stephen's Church in Shepherd's Bush who were concerned about the poor housing conditions in the area. They were led by the church’s vicar, Reverend John Asbridge and their aim was to "acquire and administer property for letting to needy families."
The choir vestry at St Stephen’s became the Association’s first office, which was run by volunteers from the parish.
Reverend Asbridge died last year, but lived to see his creation - now split into two divisions - Shepherd’s Bush Housing Association and BE WEST, providing over 5,000 homes across nine boroughs, including Hammersmith & Fulham. Future plans include the construction of 1,200 more homes by 2030.
The 130-year-old Guinness Partnership provides homes and services for 140,000 customers in 64,000 homes across the country, including the iconic Guinness Trust Buildings in Fulham Palace Road in Hammersmith.
Last year SBHG ran into problems when the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) rated it as “non-compliant on governance matters”. The regulator said, “This means that there are issues of serious regulatory concern but that the provider is working with us to address them.”
Now SBHG says that by bringing the two organisations together it will be better placed to deliver more reliable and consistent investment in its existing homes at a greater pace, improve services to customers and develop more affordable homes for the residents of west London.
St Stephen's Church’s vicar, Reverend John Asbridge, helped set up SBHG
Martin Hurst, SBHG Chair, said, “SBHG remains a viable independent business and following our downgrade by the Regulator of Social Housing last year we have made great progress with our governance recently.
St Stephen's Church in Shepherd's Bush
“We want to build on our progress to do more for our residents by investing in their homes, communities and building much needed affordable housing, which will remain challenging if we stay independent.
“Guinness is an organisation that has a strong record of growth, regeneration and investing in the communities they operate in. This partnership will allow us to improve the communities our customers live in, ensure long term investment in our homes and provide more housing in west London.”
The Guinness Partnership meanwhile says that bringing SBHG into the Guinness family will strengthen its presence in London and deliver more opportunities for residents of both organisations.
Chris Wilson, Chair of The Guinness Partnership Board, said: “The values of Guinness and SBHG are very much aligned, with a strong social purpose at the core of both organisations. We have a strong presence in London – this partnership will provide opportunities to deliver more homes in an area where demand far outstrips supply and further improve the efficiency of our customer service.”
SBHG has written to all its customers, explaining the plans and promising to set up a customer engagement forum to allow people to share their views. You can read this letter in full here.
Like Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More
This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.
Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.
We've always done that and won't be changing, in fact we'd like to do more.
However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.
We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.
A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact email@example.com and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.
One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.
If you do support us in this way we'd be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.
For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you'd like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.
Family Forced to Live in Leaky Flat for 18 Months
Council 'Break Promise' To Fix 81-year-old Hammersmith Woman's Heating
Local Families Being Rehoused in Birmingham and Manchester
Mum and Disabled Son Forced to Live in Flat with Hole in Ceiling
Resident Waits Eight Years To Have Leak Fixed
Council Ranked Worst in the Country for Dealing With Damp and Mould
Addison Gardens Couple Left Without Heating for Four Months
Hammersmith & Fulham House Prices Rise Sharply
Maystar Estate Residents Fear Big Renovation Bills
Sign up for email newsletters from FulhamSW6.com, HammersmithToday.co.uk and ShepherdsBushW12.com