HCA welcomes investment in future of affordable housing

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

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The Homes and Communities Agency, the national housing, land and regeneration agency, has today welcomed government’s spending plans as a strong settlement for the sector.

The plans, announced by The Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander today and published in Investing in Britain’s Future, set out more detail on how £3.3bn of investment will deliver 165,000 new affordable homes by 2017/18.

The announcement included:

  • An extension of the Affordable Homes Programme with £957m funding each year from 2015/16 to 2017/18, and a £400m Affordable Rent to Buy scheme, to deliver 165,000 new affordable homes.
  • Certainty that the guideline limit for social rent increases has been set at CPI + 1% per year from 2015-16 to 2024-25.
  • A review of the Government estate to be led by the Government Property Unit and a role for the HCA as the single public body charged with bringing surplus public land to market from 2015/16 onwards.
  • An additional £150m funding for Enterprise Zones and an additional £102m to speed up delivery on large scale sites.
  • £160m to reduce the backlog of non-decent homes, bringing the Decent Homes Backlog Programme to an end.
  • Allowing the HCA to charge fees for the regulation of social housing providers.

Many of the programmes announced today will be administered by the HCA outside London, on behalf of the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Andy Rose, Chief Executive of the HCA, said:

“This is a strong settlement for the sector.  The commitment of £3.3bn for affordable housing to build 165,000 new affordable homes reflects the Government’s confidence in the sector and the HCA; as well as housing’s role in driving economic growth. This is core business for us and we are ready to work with our partners to deliver these new homes.  This includes our role as regulator to ensure providers have appropriate management strategies to take advantage of the new opportunities.

“The announcement that the HCA will be the single public body charged with bringing surplus public sector land to market builds on the HCA’s role as the Government’s key delivery partner in increasing the amount of public land for development and speeding up the rate at which it is brought to market.  It clearly recognises our commercial expertise, experience of managing large portfolios of land, and delivery performance to date in contributing to the Prime Minister’s ambition to release enough land by 2015 to support development of 100,000 new homes.

“There are significant opportunities in today’s announcement for house builders and providers to meet their development aspirations. Our role now is to maximise the impact of the investment that has been made available and we will be talking to the sector about implementation, to take advantage of these opportunities.”

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