Older people’s housing provider Johnnie Johnson Housing will become Sanctuary Housing subsidiary

Sanctuary Housing has announced that its merger with 5,000-home Johnnie Johnson Housing (JJH) has been approved by both housing associations’ boards.


Sanctuary group chief executive, Craig Moule, says Sanctuary are well-placed to take on Johnnie Johnson Housing as subsidiary

JJH, which is based in Stockport and operates across the north west and north east, will become a subsidiary of Sanctuary Housing subject to consent from lenders.

JJH’s current CEO, Yvonne Castle, will step down in December and Kathryn Fox-Rogers will become the subsidiary’s managing director, after serving as chief operating officer at Johnnie Johnson Housing for over two years.

Sanctuary Housing, which owns around 120,000 homes, and JJH first announced the potential merger in June this year.

This comes after JJH reported a reduced surplus in the year to 31 March 2023 due to increased interest rates on loans and increased costs of materials, particularly within its development programme.

In its financial statement for 2022-23, JJH posted a surplus of £0.2m, compared to a surplus of £0.4m in the previous year.

It reported a pension scheme loss of £1.3m, which resulted in a total loss of £1.1m in income.

Craig Moule, Sanctuary group chief executive, said: “There is space for organisations of any size in our sector and there are many organisations who provide excellent services to a single community, or a small number of neighbouring communities, but do not have the capacity to make significant investment in their existing homes or develop new homes.

“As one of the largest providers in the sector, we use our size and strength to invest and develop, to be efficient, while maintaining local, community-focused services.”

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Yvonne Castle, Johnnie Johnson Housing chief executive, said: “We always want to do more. We are ambitious as experts in the field of providing homes and services, including Astraline’s Technology Enabled Care, for older residents. We know that through joining Sanctuary we will be able to fulfil our ambitions and invest more in our residents’ homes than we could on our own.

“As always, the interests of our own residents and those of Sanctuary will remain our top priority.”

In February, Sanctuary took over Essex-based housing association Swan after the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) made a judgment that it was non-compliant with the RSH’s governance and financial viability standard.