Agency delivers 11,500 more affordable homes than expected, as London mayor plans to take control of its £1.1bn budget

The Homes and Communities Agency has beaten its target for new housing starts by 20%, delivering 11,500 more affordable housing construction starts than targeted last year

The Agency achieved 64,811 starts against a target of 53,315 over the year to April.

The announcement comes as London Mayor Boris Johnson unveiled plans to transfer housing powers from bodies including the Homes and Communities Agency to his office.

The move would give the mayor control of the HCA’s London budget, which is currently worth around £1.1bn a year.

Last month the agency was forced to freeze future spending and next week’s emergency Budget is likely to result in deep cuts to its funding as the government seeks to reduce the UK’s massive budget deficit

Over half of the housing starts announced today were in London, the south east and south west.

HCA chief executive Sir Bob Kerslake said: “This is an excellent result, considering the extremely fragile market, and illustrates how we are making a significant impact in areas facing the greatest challenges in maintaining a supply of affordable housing.”

He added: “Looking to the year ahead, whatever the outcome of the June Budget, it is clear that with less public funding available to support housing, we will need to focus our efforts where they have most impact at local level and drive value for money in key areas such as affordable housing.”