Homes and Communities Agency refocus will see more homes built

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The Homes and Communities Agency is to improve its efficiency, helping more homes to be built after a review of its remit

A wide-ranging review of the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) will help the organisation refocus its aims and objectives.

The review, which was published today [30 November] by the government, revealed the HCA as a key component in its national housebuilding ambitions and highlighted the vital role it will play in the future of the housing market.

The Tailored Review of the HCA took place between February and April 2016 and formed part of a wider government programme to investigate the efficiency of public bodies.

Homes and Communities Agency should be maintained as a public body

Recommendations of the review included maintaining the agency in its current form as a public body with a renewed and revitalised purpose to support housebuilding. It will also focus on increasing the supply of land available for development.

The review said the HCA’s social housing regulation should be made a separate public body, which would not affect its powers or operations.

Housing and Planning Minister Gavin Barwell MP said: “We are determined to create a housing market that works for everyone and the Homes and Communities Agency and regulator will play an important role in delivering the homes this country needs.

“The agency will be vital for boosting housebuilding and speeding up the delivery of new homes so all can benefit from having somewhere safe and secure to live.

“And as a new standalone body the regulator will ensure the social housing sector continues to benefit from strong, independent governance.”

Recommendations to be implemented

The Chairman of the HCA, Sir Edward Lister, said the agency had a strong track record of delivering housing target but recognised more needed to be done to ensure the future of the sector.

“The Homes and Communities Agency has a strong track record of delivering the government’s housing targets but we know we need to do even more in future to ensure more people have the opportunity to own their own home,” he said.

“We therefore fully welcome the recommendations of the government’s review. We are already implementing a number of changes to our operating model to help speed up delivery and promote new approaches to housebuilding.

“We will set out how we intend to play a more active role in the delivery of the government’s increased housing ambitions in the coming months.”

A consultation will launch relating to plans to use a Legislative Reform Order to establish the regulator as an independent body.

Fees are also being discussed separately for social housing regulation to ensure powers are maintained by the regulator and that it continues to run an independent robust regulatory system.

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