Deal previously approved by both boards

Two east London housing associations have abandoned plans to merge, despite the deal having previously been approved by both boards. 

The completion of the planned merger between Poplar HARCA and Tower Hamlets Community Housing (THCH) had been expected to take place this spring

Poplar Harca board

Source: Poplar HARCA

Poplar HARCA’s board had previously backed the merger

But the pair announced today that their respective boards had “decided to end partnership talks at this time”. 

A statement to the market said: “We both remain committed to collaborating in the future to provide residents with the best possible services and remain committed to work together to address the housing challenges in Tower Hamlets.”

The two housing associations had announced their plans for the merger in December last year, following a 12 week consultation with residents. 

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It would have involved THCH transferring its homes and buildings into Poplar HARCA with HARCA chief Steve Stride becoming chief executive of the combined group. 

Poplar HARCA housing association owns and manages 9,000 homes and THCH owns over 3,000 homes in east London. 

In March last year, the regulator downgraded THCH’s financial viability and governance gradings, finding weaknesses in its financial position.