On the face of it the achievement of the Homes and Communities Agency looks impressive - 50,000 affordable homes delivered "despite" the downturn and targets ticked off as met with the exception of one.

Now, I am an advocate for the establishment of the HCA, but I am also an advocate of transparency and a degree of humility.

It was the use of the word "despite" in the announcement that got my goat. I was left wondering if that should have read "because"?

Had it not been for the downturn there would not have been the conversion of about 5,000 private sector homes into affordable housing in the final quarter of 2008 alone.

This oddly enough may have been to the detriment of actual house building numbers rather than a bonus.

Also, had it not been for the downturn, RSLs would not have converted about 4,000 homes originally for sale into homes for rent in the final quarter of 2008.

We can assume this continued in the first quarter of this year, so a fair slice of the social rented homes in the 50,000 come as a direct result of the downturn.

And had it not been for the downturn what chances that we would have had the HomeBuy Direct scheme set up whereby private house builders and the Government help take the load off home buyers and create affordable homes?

Now I don't have the breakdown of the data for the 50,000. I don't know, for instance, whether the HomeBuy Direct scheme figures or not. I have asked. And when I know I will post again.

The truth is there's been a range of actions taken "because" of the downturn that has helped boost these figures.

So for me it is the unqualified use of the word "despite" rather than "because" of the downturn that has taken the shine off what I think is a reasonably good news story in these troubled times.

Until I am advised otherwise I shall just put this down as another case of targetitis spinalotis.