Contextual information on Sovereign Housing Group
1. The Group
The Sovereign Housing Group was established on 1 April 2005, through a
partnership between Sovereign Housing Association (SHA) and Twynham
Housing Association (THA). On 2 April 2007, Vale Housing Association (VHA)
also joined taking the overall stock holding to just over 23,000 homes. SHA, THA
and VHA are all Large Scale Voluntary Transfer organisations (LSVT’s).
2. Recent growth
Sovereign’s strategic plan, for the period 2006/07 to 2009/10, which was
approved in 2006, envisaged growth through new development and alliances,
with the intention of reaching an overall size of around 30,000 homes. This
target was part of the Group’s objective to be a leading, influential, and
sustainable social business. The focus of alliance activity was to be on
facilitating the rationalisation of stock within the Group’s existing geography, to
enhance service provision and achieve efficiency. The strategy was reviewed in
2008, and the overall target size was increased to 40,000 homes by 2011.
SHG’s Board was first made aware of Wessex Housing Partnership’s (Wessex)
intention to seek a partner in November 2007. In March 2008, Wessex’s
invitation to participate in a partner selection process was evaluated against a
matrix that incorporated criteria agreed by Sovereign’s four existing Boards
including the ‘headline’ requirements of GPN 11. Based on the outcome of the
evaluation, the decision to proceed with the selection process was taken by the
Heads of Terms for the new Group were agreed in August 2008, and there was
final agreement to the new rules and Intragroup agreement in February 2009.
The Business Case was approved by the TSA in May 2009 and the new Group
went ‘live’ on 1st July 2009.
The new Group aims to achieve:
• Operational efficiencies for the benefit of residents
• Additional resources for investment in improved services and new homes in
• Additional skills to support specialist areas (such as care, support and elderly
• Higher quality services by learning from each other and from better resourced
business support services
• Reduced costs through joint procurement
• Greater influence locally in Hampshire and in the wider regions in which the
Group will operate.
A separate ‘Amalgamation Action Plan’ is being presented to the new Group
Board on 6 August for approval. Once this is signed off it will be submitted to the
TSA so that the anticipated outcomes from the partnership can be monitored.