My honourable friend the Minister for Housing and Planning (Caroline Flint) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
The Housing and Regeneration Bill, currently before Parliament, establishes the Homes and Communities Agency, bringing together, for the first time, land and money to deliver decent, affordable housing and regenerate our communities by creating places where people chose to live. It will give local authorities a clear strategic partner to work with on housing and regeneration, and will enable better and more effective use of a range of assets, resources and funding streams to respond to the particular housing and regeneration problems in different communities.
Work to establish the agency is progressing well. Following his appointment as chief executive designate of the agency, Sir Bob Kerslake has appointed a full-time set-up team comprising staff drawn from the Housing Corporation, English Partnerships and CLG. The team will lead the delivery of the detailed work necessary to bring the agency into being.
Reflecting the devolved arrangements that operate for the London Development Agency, and the Mayor of London’s responsibility to produce a housing strategy for the capital, my predecessor asked Sir Bob Kerslake, chief executive designate of the Homes and Communities Agency, to discuss how the HCA and the mayor’s bodies could most effectively co-operate to meet London’s housing and regeneration needs. Following those discussions, I have agreed to their proposal that, once the agency is established, a sub-committee of the HCA board should be set up with specific responsibility for London. The board will be chaired by the mayor, and the vice chair will be the chief executive of the HCA. The London boroughs will also be actively involved through participation on the sub-committee and involvement in the delivery of individual schemes on the ground. The sub-committee will be supported by a team comprising the London staff of the HCA and staff drawn from the London Development Agency. The team will be able to draw on the resources and assets of both the HCA and the LDA in meeting London’s housing and regeneration needs.