Since 2010 Government has delivered almost 900,000 new homes, including 293,000 affordable homes. However, we need to build many more homes if we are going to create a housing market that works for everyone, and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) will play a vital role in this.
On 10 February 2016, my predecessor as Minister for Housing and Planning announced to Parliament the commencement of a Tailored Review of the HCA. I am pleased today to announce the publication of the Tailored Review.
The Agency is the national housing, land and regeneration agency and the regulator of registered social housing providers in England.
The Review concluded that functions exercised by the HCA are required, and, with the exception of social housing regulation, should continue to be performed by the HCA in its current form as a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB). The Review recommends that the Agency’s regulatory function should be established as a standalone NDPB, reaffirming the Government’s commitment to a strong, independent regulator for social housing. This is a purely administrative change that will not affect the regulator’s powers or operations. This change will result in no increase on existing Government budgeted spending. The regulator will also be part of plans for increased sharing of back office functions across the DCLG Group. DCLG will today launch a consultation on using a Legislative Reform Order to establish the regulator as an independent body. This comes shortly after a consultation issued by the regulator on introducing fees for social housing regulation. Taken together these changes will ensure the regulator remains independent, and retains the powers and resources needed to maintain the confidence of the sector and lenders.
The Review has also made a number of recommendations for improving the efficiency, effectiveness and governance of HCA. This includes changes such as improving stakeholder engagement, reducing bureaucracy and ensuring that the Agency has the right set of skills. The Chairs of the HCA and the Regulation Committee have welcomed the recommendations. My Department and the Agency are working closely together and have developed a timetable for implementation of the recommendations.
The Tailored Review has been carried out independently within Government and with the full and active participation of the HCA. I would like to thank the HCA and all stakeholders that have contributed to the Review. The Review is being deposited in the Libraries of both Houses and is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tailored-review-of-the-homes-and-communities-agency
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords