Plans to reform Homes and Communities Agency announced

Plans have been announced to transform the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) into a smaller enabling body working for local communities on their priorities.

This is part of the government's programme to make quangos more accountable to the public and cut their running costs and represents the start of an ongoing process.

The statement follows a review of the role of the HCA as part of the Spending Review process, and they will lead to a reduction in its running costs by half over two years, saving the taxpayer over £100m by 2014-15.

Key elements of the plans include a 50 per cent reduction in HCA running costs from over £80m per year to around £40m per year, reducing the number of HCA Directors from 12 to six, with the potential to reduce this further over time and a reduction from 17 to four core HCA offices.
The government has demonstrated its strong commitment to housing and regeneration, with £6.5bn to be invested in housing including over £2bn to make existing social homes decent, £4.5bn to fund new affordable homes, and £1.4bn invested in communities through the Regional Growth Fund, over the Spending Review period.

In addition, plans are being developed for the Agency to hand over its functions in London to the Mayor, and to take on the remaining responsibilities of the Tenant Services Authority, which is being abolished.

Grant Shapps said: "The HCA will play a vital role in delivering this radical agenda, but with a new working ethos of communities in charge, drawing on the expertise that the HCA has to help them achieve their priorities."

"HCA will need to remain flexible to deal with new challenges that will continue to emerge in the coming months and years."

Further information:
Homes and Communities Agency