Plans to bring forward the launch of the housing and regeneration superagency that will replace the Housing Corporation and English Partnerships are being examined by its chief executive.

The government has faced criticism because the body, to be known as the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), is not expected to be set up until April next year at the earliest.

Sir Bob Kerslake, who becomes chief executive of the shadow-HCA next month, said he was talking to the communities department about bringing the timetable forward. He said: “I’m exploring whether it can be speeded up.”

Civil servants say it is impossible to have the agency running sooner because it requires primary legislation. A number of critics, including Nick Raynsford, the former housing minister, have emphasised how important the agency will be to accelerating housing supply.

Kerslake said the agency would adopt a more “collaborative approach” in London than elsewhere. The Greater London Authority wants to control the spending of the HCA in the capital to fit with its planning and housing powers.