The investment and regulatory functions of the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) are being separated as part of an overhaul of the executive non-departmental public body. The move partially implements recommendations following a government review of the corporate governance and management arrangements in place at the HCA after concerns were raised about potential conflicts of interests at the agency.
The HCA was established by the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 to administer funding for affordable housing in England and to regulate social housing providers. Some observers queried the whether it was appropriate for a body responsible for making and managing recoverable investment and guarantee programmes that facilitate social housing delivery to also be responsible for the regulation of providers of social housing.
Consequently, the HCA’s Regulation Committee has been rebranded as the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH). The RSH has explained that the rebrand is merely a change of name and that there has been no change to the regulatory framework or to the regulators approach or powers.
Meanwhile, the HCA’s investment functions have been relaunched as Homes England. Homes England says that it will develop a new commercial approach to acquiring, preparing, managing and developing land in areas of high demand and strategic importance. The agency has signalled a desire to move away from the traditional grant distribution model towards providing more wide-reaching support development. The agency has been granted new compulsory purchase powers in order to support its activities.
RSH and Homes England will both remain functions of the HCA with distinct corporate identities until legislation is enacted to establish the RSH as an independent organisation.
The HCA refresh coincides with the government’s renewed focus on housing and the revamp of the Department for Communities and Local Government as the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
Posted on 22/03/2018 in Legal UpdatesBack to Knowledge