Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH) is the UK’s first tenant and employee co-owned mutual housing society, with over 12,000 homes throughout 52 neighbourhoods. It employs 580 people and has an annual turnover of £55m.
It formed as a mutual in March 2012 as part of a stock transfer from Rochdale Borough Council. Building on RBH’s success, another mutual has formed on similar lines to RBH in Merthyr Valley Homes in Wales.
Another motivation for the transfer was to improve choice and quality of housing service options. The mix of housing provided in the Council had not changed and there was a mismatch between demand and supply. The quality of the rental housing was also very poor. The housing transfer was seen as a way to change that.
RBH has developed a pioneering governance model that places members at the heart of decision-making, allowing them to enjoy a sense of security and belonging in places they make great together. RBH is governed by a Board of Directors and a Representative Body: The Board is responsible for the overall management of the society and the delivery of services, while the Representative Body set strategy and direction. The Representative Body is elected from and by tenant and employee members.