Greenfields & Colne merger to create Eastlight Community Homes

Emma Palmer with an Eastlight resident

Colne Housing & Greenfields are pleased to announce that their merger has been approved.

Together they will create a new 12,000 home social landlord on 1 July 2020, which will be able to do much more for people in need of affordable housing.

The Boards of Colne Housing and Greenfields Community Housing agree that the merger will result in more new homes, improved services and communities and a stronger ‘resident voice’ in Essex and Suffolk.

The combined organisation will be called Eastlight Community Homes, subject to approval in May by Greenfields’ resident shareholders. It was chosen following extensive engagement with tenants, leaseholders, staff and stakeholders.

Eastlight Community Homes will adopt the Community Gateway ethos of Greenfields, which ensures residents can choose to become shareholders and help make key decisions about their homes, services and communities.

By combining their strengths, Eastlight will be able to build up to 1,300 extra homes in addition to the 2,500 currently planned over five years, while spending an extra £8 million on residents’ existing homes.

Emma Palmer, Greenfields’ Chief Executive and designate CEO of Eastlight Community Homes, said: “This merger is a fantastic opportunity to do so much more for residents and future generations in need of affordable homes.

“Our shared vision is to create a trailblazing organisation with empowered residents who have a real say and influence on both their services and our strategic direction.”

Sara Thakkar, Chief Executive of Colne and designate Deputy Chief Executive, said: “Eastlight Community Homes will deliver value for money and better services for the local communities we serve.

“We are really proud to be stronger together and look forward to shaping a brighter future with our residents, people and partners.”

Last year, Colne, which has 3,200 homes in north Essex and Suffolk, invited larger housing associations to explore working together to further tackle the housing crisis in the East of England. The proposal, called ‘Unlocking Eastern Potential’, led to the partnership with 8,900 home Greenfields.