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Aster Group

Housing association Aster Group’s merger with London trust gets go-ahead

A merger between Devizes-based housing association Aster Group and London-based housing trust Central and Cecil has been confirmed, following agreement by both boards, and C&C shareholders.

The combined businesses, which will come together in January 2022, will own and manage 34,500 homes across London, the south east and south west of England, and will have the capacity to deliver a further 12,000 homes by 2030 via a planned £2.5 billion investment programme.

The merger, plans for which were first announced in June 2021, will also enable £571 million worth of asset management, maintenance, improvements and sustainability upgrades to existing homes.

Bjorn Howard, group chief executive of Aster Group, said: “Reaching board and shareholder agreement is an important step forward in our shared vision for C&C to join the Group in January.

“We have ambitious plans to deliver more housing and an enhanced service offering to our customers and welcoming a new member to the Group puts us firmly on the path to achieving those goals.

“There will be a phased integration and, while customers won’t experience any immediate changes, the prospect of what we can achieve together in the long-term is exciting.

“Building more homes, better services and investing in technology – ultimately this partnership is about bringing together the resources and expertise that we both bring to the table and using them more effectively to improve the experience for our colleagues and customers.”

Julia Ashley, CEO of C&C, said: “This merger presents an exciting new chapter for C&C at a time where we are celebrating our 95th anniversary.

“Through this new partnership, our residents can benefit through accelerated investment in our existing properties and services including in care, and building new homes to add to our existing portfolio of affordable housing for over-55s in London.”

C&C, established in 1926, is headquartered in Waterloo and specialises in affordable housing and care for over 55s in London.

The move will be Aster’s second merger in the past two years, having entered a partnership with Dorset-based East Boro Housing Trust (EBHT) in early 2020.

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