A new name and an exciting new era

Wednesday, 5th April 2017

Three of the North’s leading social landlords have today launched a new regionwide landlord known as Karbon Homes.

Isos Housing, based in Newcastle, group partner Cestria Community Housing, and Derwentside Homes, based in Stanley, County Durham will now all work together under the Karbon Homes banner.

The new name is being launched today (Wednesday April 5th), as Karbon starts the new financial year managing its 24,000 homes across the North East region.

Karbon Homes becomes one of the largest housing associations in the North East, and one of the largest businesses of any kind in the region.

The combined strength of Karbon will see it generate turnover of around £115m per annum, and build more than 500 homes each year to rent or buy.

The new branding and identity for Karbon will be phased in, starting in early May.

The name Karbon Homes was chosen after exploring what is elemental to life. Carbon is an essential element and a key component for all life. We believe it is an excellent metaphor for a home – a foundation on which our future health and happiness is built. Its association with coal also provides a reminder of the North’s industrial heritage, and a time of high employment and relative prosperity.

Karbon, though, is very much about the future. The three organisations merging to form Karbon were each successful in their own right, while united by a common view that the housing sector needed to respond positively to the efficiency challenge posed by the rent reduction in the 2015 budget.

By coming together as one and driving out duplication, Karbon believes it can generate capacity to more than double its existing development programme.

It’s calculated that the merger, under one organisation with our new brand, will deliver minimum net savings of £3m per annum from the fourth year of Karbon Homes operating.

Karbon Homes aims to leverage its scale to ramp up the three merged landlords’ already sizeable development capacity to build more homes of all tenures for the region.

Karbon will build affordable homes to rent, homes to purchase through shared ownership, and homes for sale and to rent through its Prince Bishops Homes subsidiary. Everyone should be able to find a home to suit their needs through Karbon Homes.

Combining the recent HCA (Homes and Communities Agency) grant allocations for Isos, Cestria and Derwentside means the enlarged group will manage one of the largest allocations of any landlord nationwide.

In total, Karbon Homes will develop around 2,400 homes over the next four years – combining the existing development programmes of Isos, Cestria and Derwentside with the funding allocated by the HCA for 2016-21.

The executive and board of Karbon Homes say they are keen to benefit from all staff working more closely together, and exploring new ideas for improving and delivering services to their customers.

The larger organisation is intended to deliver significant benefits for customers and staff while providing stability for all the merger partners in a turbulent period for the housing association sector.

Paul Fiddaman, chief executive of Karbon Homes, said: “This is an exciting, important day, with our new organisation starting work.

“We are immensely proud of what Isos, Cestria and Derwentside have achieved, but now it is time for a fresh start with a fresh new name.

“Karbon is all about providing foundations, about the importance of a home for people to lead successful lives, and that will be our focus in this new organisation.”

Karbon Homes will continue its predecessors’ ambitions to maximise efficiencies, and hence enable the landlord to position itself for success in the fast changing economic and political environment. Karbon will remain ambitious to grow further, as opportunities arise.

Sebert Cox, the new chairman of Karbon Homes, said: “Bringing such strong partners together means Karbon Homes is working on a very strong foundation.

“There is such a wealth of talent within the three landlords, and I am certain Karbon will achieve great things.

“The scale and reach of Karbon Homes has enormous potential for bringing about change for housing in the North.”