Trafford-L&Q deal means £4bn for 20,000 homes

London-based housing association L&Q, formerly known as London & Quadrant, said it is in talks to merge with Trafford Housing Trust (THT) in Greater Manchester.

L&Q said the deal would lead to a £4 billion investment to create 20,000 new homes in the North West of England.

“L&Q and Trafford Housing Trust (THT) announced today that they are in talks, which will see THT become a wholly-owned subsidiary of L&Q,” said L&Q.

“It is anticipated that the acquisition will complete in June 2019, subject to due diligence, customer consultation and the development of a five-year business plan.

“The acquisition of THT by L&Q will build on a highly successful joint venture partnership that has already seen 679 housing starts with a further 1,493 in the pipeline since it was launched in April 2017.

“This new agreement will unlock a further £4 billion of investment in the North West by combining the capabilities and resources of the two housing associations to create 20,000 new homes and strong communities over the next 10 years.

“At least half of these homes will be affordable …

“A newly-created North West Foundation will invest in local communities to help the most vulnerable in society, including projects to tackle poverty and support people experiencing domestic violence, mental health and debt problems, as well as improving the lives of the region’s aging population.

“The Foundation will also fund projects to help young people and the hard-to-employ back into work, as well as increasing skills amongst THT’s own workforce through an L&Q Academy in the North West, mirroring its successful work in London and the South East.”

As part of the acquisition, THT CEO Matthew Gardiner, who has led the company since it was established 15 years ago, will step down and be succeeded by current acting chief executive Larry Gold.

Gardiner has spent the past few months on secondment as Head of Ideation for L&Q Group, leading innovation projects, and this will become permanent.

THT Chairman, Edna Robinson, will join L&Q’s Group Board to help shape future strategy.

L&Q Group CEO David Montague said: “L&Q has an ambitious plan to build 100,000 quality new homes over the next 10 years to tackle the national housing crisis.

“We see THT as a gateway to the North West, an area of outstanding growth that needs more high quality, affordable homes.

“We are excited by the opportunity to invest in the North West with a partner that shares our social purpose, values and ambition, has excellent local knowledge and a strong reputation for innovation and delivery.”

Larry Gold, acting chief executive of THT, added: “This is a unique creation that will be built on true partnership and the strength of our vision, and the people who will deliver it.

“As part of L&Q, we’ll create significant social impact in the North West at scale and pace and strive to find solutions to the national housing crisis.

“We will deliver an extensive programme of new development and regeneration projects, as well as improving homes and services for our existing customers.”