RSLs shaken, not stirred by Martini accusation

30 Mar 00
Housing associations should not overstretch themselves by 'dabbling' in too many new activities, according to the chief executive of one of London's largest registered social landlords.

31 March 2000

Richard McCarthy, chief executive of the Peabody Trust, told last week's National Housing Federation finance conference that there were too many 'Martini organisations' operating within the RSL sector, hoping to provide services 'any time, any place and anywhere'.

Although there were obvious advantages to diversification, RSLs must impose limits on themselves, said McCarthy. Peabody, which has more than 15,000 homes in the capital, is also involved in IT training and sports action zones but has decided to cut back on residential care because it recognised it was 'not brilliant' at it, he said.

'We are moving into new areas and meeting needs other than just housing. We're still learning and making mistakes but we are also having some real successes,' said McCarthy.

It was a question of identifying pitfalls and not launching new ventures for the sake of it. 'We do not want to be a sector where everybody does the same thing but in some areas it's a question of reducing some of the activities and recognising our strengths and our weaknesses.'


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