This year WM Housing Group, including Whitefriars Housing, West Mercia Homes, Family
Housing Association and Optima Community Association are becoming one, new organisation: Citizen.
We are delighted to be able to reveal our exciting new future.
For us this is much more than just a rebrand, it is a fundamental change for our organisation.
We’re a big organisation, so change will take some time, and you may see our new and old brands side by side for a while. We are planning for the process to be completed by Autumn 2019.
If you are a customer, rest assured that your services will not be affected and thank you for your patience during this time.
This is more than a rebrand – we’re not just changing our name and how we look. You can expect more from us, including:
We believe being a citizen is a hugely important concept
It means being part of society, having a stake, having rights and responsibilities and being respected.
We’re a social business which means we are here for you in good times and bad.
Most often, all our customers need is a good home to thrive.
We have ambitious and exciting plans for the future, which will transform our services for customers and the way we work.
We want to improve the way that we work and this will continue over the coming months and years.
Our new name and new group structure is an essential step to help us to become a better organisation, provide better services for our customers and have a bigger impact in our communities.
We are also working on a number of hugely important projects which will see major improvements and changes to our services and our offer.
Becoming Citizen is the most important change in our history.
We wanted our customers, staff and the people and organisations we work with in our communities to play a central role in the choice of our new brand.
That’s why over the last year we have consulted with them to help us to establish how we were perceived as an organisation and what sort of organisation people wanted us to be.
We held workshops, focus groups and conducted surveys with all our customers, staff and the organisations and people we work with most closely.
The feedback we received fed directly into our new brand.
The main motivation for our rebrand is to improve the services that we offer to our customers and make their experience better.
We believe that the rebrand, along with the legal amalgamation of our group, will mean we can make transformational improvements to the way that we work and the services that we offer.
We also think that our new, focused identity will increase our profile as an organisation and reflect our position as a leading Midlands housing association which will in turn open up new opportunities for us to play a central role in meeting the housing need across our region.
The rebrand will have no effect on the terms and conditions and rights of our customers as set out in their tenancy agreements.
Citizen is the culmination of a year of research, engagement and consultation.
We want people to sit at the heart of our brand – our customers, our staff and the people we work with. And what do we all have in common? We are all citizens.
We are a social business and we want to be there for our customers in good times and bad.
Most often, all our customers need is a good home to make the most of life.
But when times get tough, we want to be able to offer all the help we can, including money advice, coaching and practical support, helping our customers to build on their own strengths and get back on their feet.
Our new brand reflects the fact that we are all citizens with needs and aspirations. We want this thinking and an appreciation for the people in our communities and our organisation to be at the forefront of everything that we do.
For an organisation of our size and scale the rebrand will take a significant period of time.
In an ideal world to make the transition as simple as possible we would flick a switch, and everything would change but in reality this is logistically impossible.
This change is about much more than just a change of logo and colour scheme – we want our customers and the people we work with to see a change in the way that we do things as well.
We will be training all our staff to speak our new brand language and live the Citizen vision over the coming months.
We will also be moving forward with the formal legal amalgamation of the group and continue to make changes to the way that we work to underpin this change.
That’s why we are giving ourselves until Autumn to fully transition to our new brand.
The extent of our existing branding is significant and includes everything from signage on our homes and offices, to branding on our vehicles, uniforms and all our documentation.
To make sure all our existing branding is switched across to our new brand in a cost-effective way, the brand will need to start to transition ahead of September.
This means that our old brands and our new brand will co-exist for a time.
We ask that you bear with us during this transition period over the coming months.
By Autumn 2019 the transition to our new brand will be complete and we will formally adopt our new name.
This means that from this time you can expect any communication you have with us by phone, email or in person, to be from Citizen.
The legal amalgamation of the organisation and our rebrand are separate but closely related projects.
We could rebrand without amalgamating our structure, but we feel this would not deal with some of the issues which that structure is currently reinforcing.
To move forward with our new approach, we think it is important to truly become one organisation.
The timing of the amalgamation will run in parallel with the rebrand so that we can make these changes at the same time.
We will be posting regular updates about the progress of the transition to our new brand on this website.
If you wish to ask a question at any point you can direct this to our dedicated rebrand email: email@example.com and we will answer.
You can also contact our Customer Service Centre if you have any questions relating to our brand.