The housing advisory service Housing Options and the Association for Supported Living, a not-for-profit organisation that works to improve supported living services for people with learning disabilities, are merging to form a new membership charity.
The Housing and Support Alliance will be launched formally in Manchester next month.
The new organisation’s members will include commissioners, housing and care providers, carers and advocacy groups with a combined budget of £3bn a year.
Housing Options and the ASL employ the equivalent of 1.5 staff between them, which the HSA will maintain. Seven freelance specialist advisers work on an advice line that is free for members to use.
Both organisations have already collaborated to produce Know Your Rights, a guide for people with learning disabilities that offers guidance to members on tenancies and ownership options for people with learning disabilities.
Housing Options had an income of £161,564 in 2010/11, according to figures on the Charity Commission website. The ASL’s annual income is closer to £250,000 a year, according to Alicia Wood, the business development manager at Housing Options who will be chief executive of the new charity.
"We’d always worked together and we shared the same values," she said.
The move came about to protect the organisations’ work for people with learning disabilities against a background of spending cuts, she said.
Karyn Kirkpatrick and Kim Foo, the chairs of Housing Options and the ASL respectively, will act as co-chairs of the new charity for the first six months.
Kirkpatrick said: "Both organisations are in a reasonable financial position independently, so there is no financial imperative for the merger."