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Housing and Regeneration Bill: Contingency Fund

Volume 702: debated on Thursday 26 June 2008

My right honourable friend the Minister for Housing and Planning (Caroline Flint) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has obtained approval for an advance from the Contingencies Fund to allow the early recruitment and appointment of the boards and senior executives with support arrangements, for the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and the Tenant Services Authority (TSA) before Royal Assent.

The Homes and Communities Agency will bring together the current work and programmes of the Housing Corporation, English Partnerships and a significant part of the Department for Communities and Local Government’s own housing programmes.

The Tenant Services Authority will encompass the current regulatory functions of the Housing Corporation and implement the recommendations of the Cave review.

Bringing forward this expenditure through a contingencies fund advance will accelerate the introduction of the new agencies so they can begin to deliver their programmes more expeditiously. It will also enable efficiency savings to be achieved earlier and will provide significant reductions in public spending.

An earlier advance of £930,000 was approved to cover the costs of recruiting the chairs and chief executives of HCA and TSA as well as their salary and support costs. Parliamentary approval for additional resources of £430,000 for these new services will be sought in the 2008-09 Winter Supplementary Estimate for the Department for Communities and Local Government. Pending that approval and Royal Assent of the Housing and Regeneration Bill, urgent expenditure estimated at £430,000 will be met by repayable cash advances from the Contingencies Fund.