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Oak Tree Housing Association Ltd was formed in April 2001 as a result of the merger of Bow Farm Housing Association and James Watt Housing Association. Victoria Housing Association then joined the new organisation at the end of June 2001.
The three associations chose to come together for a variety of different reasons but primarily to create an organisation which is stronger than the sum of its parts and one that will have an effective long-term future.
In January 2012, following significant and governance concerns at Cloch, Cloch Housing Association agreed to enter into a constitutional partnership with Oak Tree Housing Association, by becoming a subsidiary of the Association. In February 2020, following a year of meetings between both Management Committees and a robust Options Appraisal, facilitated by an external independent consultant, the proposal was made to both Associations to separate from the existing partnership. Both Management Committees decided unanimously that it was now the right time to dissolve the partnership and allow each organisation to pursue its own goals. This decision was later ratified in a ballot of Cloch's tenants, and our group structure was dissolved at the end of 2020/21.
As a result of our closer working relationship, we will continue to consider joint procurement projects, undertake joint research and deliver projects together where these initiatives will result in improved efficiences and better outcomes. Latterly we also developed a shared services model for Finance and IT services, which continues.
OTHA are a founder member of the Inverclyde Common Housing Register.
Oak Tree Housing Association has a track record of developing and managing good quality homes in Inverclyde and has a high performance culture, focussed on service delivery which is driven by increased involvement from tenants and residents in the decision-making process.
The Association owns and manages 1761 houses throughout Inverclyde and provides services for over 1,000 homeowners in Inverclyde.
We started developing in 1989 and since then 62 projects have been or are presently being worked on. The total investment value of these projects is presently estimated at £148m. The programme has catered for a variety of tenures. At 79%, social housing is the largest tenure. However, the programme has also provided accommodation for low cost home ownership and outright sale on a shared equity basis.
Work has involved refurbishment, conversion, newbuild and demolition. Wider action involvement was also significant in the development of a community centre in the Branchton Social Inclusion Partnership area. In fact, the regeneration of previously designated Social Inclusion Partnership areas had been the main focus of the Associations development activities in recent years. Development of these areas placed much emphasis on sustainability, energy efficiency and community involvement and the work that has been carried out in Branchton, Wren Road and Grieve Road is a credit to the Association and our development partners. This has helped to provide sustainable energy efficient affordable homes for 240 tenants and sharing owners in these areas.
Past achievements include the refurbishment of 57 closes in the West Station and Town Centre areas of Greenock. New build which accounts for 68.5% of the Associations total development programme has, over the years, provided a healthy mix of flats, and cottages.
In addition, a number of special needs facilities have been provided and these have helped people with learning disabilities to live a healthy life in the local community rather than remain in hospital care. The Association also built a Woman's Aid Refuge and this has been a great asset for the community in helping to address domestic abuse issues.
The last project completed by the Association was a 36 unit new build development at Auchmead Road in Greenock. Three additional projects are now being progressed. These include the development of a greenfield site in Strone Farm, Greenock and the development of 2 brownfield sites at Ravenscraig and Bow Farm (Tweed St/Tay St) in Greenock. Strone Farm has 15 units and started on site in February 2020. COVID -19 presented difficulties and the contract was subsequently terminated in June 2020. The Association is presently in dialogue with the Scottish Government and Inverclyde Council regarding options for resurrecting this project. Bow Farm (Tweed Street/Tay St) has 69 cottages and started on site in August 2020. Completion is anticipated to take place in December 2021. Ravenscraig is subject to a joint venture with Link Housing Association and a turnkey arrangement. When completed, this development will deliver 71 cottages for the Association. The investment attributed to the additional 3 projects is £19m.
Oak Tree’s annual turnover is currently around £11.7m.
The Association is a registered charity.
Communication has been the key to our success and the Association would like to thank all of the stakeholders who have been involved in our projects. Their commitment is paramount and we will continue to involve them in all aspects of our future development activities.