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Housing and Regeneration

Volume 684: debated on Monday 24 July 2006

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am today updating the House on the housing and regeneration review, launched in April this year by the Deputy Prime Minister and David Miliband.

This Government have an ambitious agenda for housing and regeneration. My letter of 12 July to the Prime Minister outlined my vision for developing mixed communities and increasing the supply of affordable and market housing. Delivering this agenda requires a step change in our activities. It is therefore vital that we get our delivery arrangements absolutely right, with clear, focused and accountable delivery chains.

The current review of housing and regeneration provides an important opportunity to build on the existing strengths of English Partnerships and the Housing Corporation and to ensure a coherent approach to delivering new housing and mixed sustainable communities. We must make the most of the skills and expertise of these bodies and maximise the use of private investment, public subsidy, landholdings and assets to support and deliver local and regional housing and regeneration strategies.

At the same time, the creation of the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) as a new strategic department, focused on delivering for people and places, offers an opportunity to evaluate our wider departmental delivery chain for housing and regeneration. I have therefore asked my officials to undertake further work in three key areas.

First, I have asked officials, in addition to addressing the Housing Corporation and English Partnerships, to examine the DCLG's delivery functions to determine the scope for rationalising existing delivery-focused activities across the piece. Secondly, I have asked officials to undertake a distinct stream of work on modernising the regulation of affordable housing, particularly in the light of the increasing involvement of the private sector. Finally and relatedly, I have asked officials to carry out further work and analysis on the range of potential modernisation and structural options for reform.

I will make a further announcement in the autumn on my plans for creating a modern, dynamic delivery chain to support stronger communities and to create places in which people feel proud to live.