Homes and Communities Agency moves to stop projects faltering

The new government housing agency is reviewing all schemes funded by its predecessors to see if they need more help during the downturn, its new head has revealed.

The chief executive designate of the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), Sir Bob Kerslake, said: “We are looking for new vehicles to take forward development and reviewing every single scheme that English Partnerships and the Housing Corporation are involved in to see if change and intervention can keep the scheme going.”

Speaking to Regenerate at a networking event for the property industry, he said the agency would assess the extent to which new developments bidding for funding fitted with the economic development, housing needs and population of their local area far more than the Housing Corporation had done.

The HCA will also have an especially close relationship with local authorities and will meet them regularly to address barriers to delivery of housing. “If we pick up from the private sector that one of the issues is planning, we feed that into the conversation [with the local authority] and do what we can to help,” he said.

The agency is recruiting people who have worked in or with private-sector developers to provide individual management for large, long-term schemes while smaller projects will be looked after as a programme.

He also said that more money would probably be added to the £200m set aside to buy up unsold stock from housebuilders for social housing, subject to demand.