Knightstone housing association plans 'stock swap'

A housing association has announced plans to swap its 939 homes in Swindon and Wiltshire for properties elsewhere in the west of England.

Knightstone also plans to close its six regional offices in the South West and operate from a headquarters in Weston-super-Mare.

The association said it expected to be managing 10,000 homes in the area within three years.

A spokesman said they wanted to focus services on a more concentrated area.

Talks are being held with a view to a "stock swap" where Knightstone will take on homes in Somerset and other parts of the West, with Swindon and Wiltshire properties transferred to a more local housing association.

Chief executive Nick Horne said: "The government changes to housing policy, rents, tenures and welfare benefits, as well as the current economic climate, mean major challenges for us, for our residents and for our partners in the years ahead.

"We believe the best solution for our residents in Swindon and Wiltshire is to receive services from a more local housing association which will be better placed to meet their needs and the needs of their communities.

"We are speaking to staff and to the residents that will be affected.

"We understand that change is never easy, but we will be working hard to ensure a smooth transition when the time comes."

The properties are expected to be transferred by April next year.

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