In agreement with Her Majesty’s Treasury, the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) budgets for 2008-09 have been agreed on merger accounting principles. This means that the HCA is deemed to have existed since 1 April 2008 and full 2008-09 budgets have been set.
The planned full year running costs budget for the HCA in 2008-09 is £86 million, with an additional £4 million being provided to the HCA for transitional costs. This figure has been reduced from the £99 million that was quoted to the hon. Gentleman in an earlier written answer, Official Report, column 1265W on 30 October 2008. That response was during the set-up phase of the HCA and of necessity included best estimates of potential running costs which have been revised now that the HCA is in operation.
The elements and funding streams incorporated into the HCA are those that were formerly functions of English Partnerships, the investment function of the Housing Corporation, and the Academy for Sustainable Communities. In addition, a range of programmes that were formerly carried out by my Department have been transferred to the HCA for delivery, including the Growth Fund (excluding that element for the West Northamptonshire Development Corporation), the Community Infrastructure Fund, Housing Market Renewal pathfinders, the Gypsies and Travellers site-specific grant, the Places of Change programme, the Decent Homes initiative and the Thames Gateway.