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1 November 2022 | Comment | Article by Peter Spencer

Mergers and other options in the Social Housing Sector | HJ Housing Week 2022

The fifth and final day of our HJ Housing Week 2022 looks at regulatory and governance within the social housing sector. Many in the social housing sector see various forms of consolidation and collaboration as the way forward in uncertain economic times. Join Peter Spencer, Partner and expert in governance helps you understand the options available when talks of merger are gathering speed, to ensure you take the right road for your organisation.

Mergers and other options

Peter guides you through mergers and three alternative options to ensure you understand the options available when talks of merger are gathering speed, so you take the right road for your organisation.

Strategic alliance

Of the three alternative options to mergers that Peter presents, this option focuses on the least legally binding option, strategic alliances. A strategic alliance can be defined quite broadly, as a close working relationship between two organisations that remain constitutionally separate.

Cost-sharing group

The second option that Peter considers, which is further along the scale of legally binding arrangements, is that of a cost-sharing group. This option goes further than a strategic alliance, as you are establishing a separate entity. Usually, this is done through a joint venture vehicle.

Subsidiary structures

The third option is subsidiary structures, which is even further along the scale of legally binding arrangements. A subsidiary structure, where you have one organisation taking over the shareholding of another organisation, is in effect, a merger. A subsidiary structure is a good option if you want to have two separate constitutions.


Lastly, Peter looks at the most legally binding arrangement on the scale, that of a merger. This is the last possibility when all of the alternative options don’t quite fit the mould for your organisation.

A merger is where either one organisation (Housing Association A) moves all of their assets, employees, liabilities, contracts and plant to another organisation (Housing Association B) and then (Housing Association A) shuts down.

Or a completely new entity (Housing Association C) can be established with a new board and new organisation name, if wanted, and the other organisations (Housing Association A & B) would then transfer their assets to Housing Association C and shut down.

HJ Housing Week 2022

With the largest social housing team in Wales, we’re continuing to bring our legal experts together every year in a week dedicated to everything housing. ‘HJ Housing Week’ strives to cover the full spectrum of housing issues using our 40 years of experience advising the sector.

Whether you are looking for a deep dive into a particular issue with a masterclass, an introduction to a new practice area that impacts your work or opinion on the commercial and policy decisions of the future, our blend of webinars, in-person events, articles and videos throughout HJ Housing Week will deliver the information you need at a time that suits your schedule.

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Author bio

Peter is a partner and head of the Charities Team. He advises on a wide range of charity law issues including charity formation, registration and incorporation, joint ventures, mergers, complex structures, trading, grant and donation agreements, crisis management and advising charities with an international element, acting for overseas charities looking to establish charities and initiatives in the UK, and UK charities wishing to fund projects and establish branches in other jurisdictions.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.

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