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Green light for housing partnership plan

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UP to 500 new jobs, a rent cap and investment in homes are being promised after tenants of Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership (DGHP) voted in favour of partnership plans with Wheatley Group.

A total of 95.5 per cent of DGHP tenants who voted in the ballot did so in support of plans which will bring together Scotland’s two largest Registered Social Landlords (RSLs). And both groups say they can now look forward to a three year rent cap of two per cent, as well as accelerated investment in homes.

Welcoming the result, DGHP chairman Bill Robertson said: “We are delighted that tenants have shown such great support for the partnership and that so many tenants voted. The board of DGHP firmly believe this partnership will offer something for every tenant across the whole of Dumfries and Galloway, and this is a fantastic opportunity. We are very much looking forward to what the future holds as part of the partnership.”

He advised that tenants will begin to see the benefits from April and also revealed an improved service, including a a free handyman service for elderly and disabled tenants. Bill added: “The creation of an in-house repairs service; 500 new jobs and apprenticeships, as well as accelerated investment in our tenants’ home, are just some of the benefits lined up.”

Plans will now progress to form the partnership, however DGHP will retain its name and identity and will continue to have a local board of management with full responsibility for the region. There will be no changes to the tenancy agreements for tenants and their rights will stay the same, with DGHP remaining as the landlord. Furthermore, staff will continue to be employed by DGHP and there is a commitment to have no compulsory redundancies, with staff still being based locally.

Meanwhile, Wheatley Group chair Alastair MacNish said: “We are delighted DGHP tenants have voted to join forces with Wheatley and we look forward to welcoming them into the group. Tenants and the other people we work for are at the very heart of everything we do at Wheatley and we will do all we can to make sure that is the case in Dumfries and Galloway.”

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