Plans to invest over £300m in the construction industry over the course of the next five years by developing new homes and refurbishing current stock were also unveiled at a launch event held at Aquinas Grammar School in Belfast.
Following an extensive consultation process involving employees and tenants from both organisations, Radius Housing Association has been chosen as the name of the new entity. Radius will have a significant, positive impact on society, providing services for around 33,000 households and employing over 1,000 staff.
In its first five years Radius is forecast to increase its assets to £1.25bn and its turnover to £110m.
Pictured at the launch event is (L-R) Diana Fitzsimons, chair of Radius Housing Association, John McLean, chief executive of Radius and Liz Cuddy, former chair of Helm Housing Association.
Radius, which will be the largest social enterprise in Northern Ireland, will have a significant housing presence in all 11 council areas, serviced by a regional office network spanning Belfast, Holywood, Ballymena, Newry and Derry-Londonderry.
Radius has ambitious plans to deliver more high quality housing, increase social investment, establish apprenticeships and employment schemes for local communities, and to invest in its ICT to improve choice and service delivery.
Diana Fitzsimons, chair of Radius, said: “Helm and Fold are progressing into an exciting new era and into uncharted waters. This union will increase our capacity in communities to deliver new and innovative services targeted at providing financial advice, creating employment and improving well-being.”
“Radius has a vision for the future which will see us continuing to enable people of all ages to live in the community through a range of traditional and technological housing solutions. Demand for our services is growing and we are confident that our merger will place us in a strong position.”
Both Helm Housing and Fold Housing Association have between them 80 years of success and experience in the social housing sector. Their client base includes families and singles, older people and people with dementia and other complex needs. Radius also supports 23,000 households through the award-winning Telecare and Telehealth service.
Liz Cuddy, former chair of Helm Housing Association, said: “Radius will be operating with the motto that ‘everyone has a place’ and with our greater capabilities we will be able to deliver long term improvements for communities across Northern Ireland.”