The government has unveiled proposals for a new agency to deliver regeneration and housing in a major shake-up of the way it supports the delivery of new homes and develops mixed, sustainable communities in England.
The proposed agency – Communities England – will bring together the functions of English Partnerships, the Housing Corporation, and a range of work carried out by the Department of Communities and Local Government, including delivery in the areas of decent homes, housing market renewal, housing PFI, housing growth and urban regeneration.
Communities secretary Ruth Kelly says the new agency will further enhance the governments ambitious agenda to ensure social mobility and economic inclusion.
She adds: With the expectation of over 4bn of public spending at its disposal, Communities England will pioneer innovative and more efficient ways of working with our key partners in the public, private and voluntary sector to get better outcomes from public investment in places.
Central to meeting its challenge the agency will not only ensure greater value for money but also guarantee the very highest standards of quality, design, energy efficiency and sustainability.
Above all Communities England will reflect the governments ongoing drive to ensure that the ambitions of local people for their communities and their families are realised.
This will enable the DCLG to focus more on strategic policy making.
English Partnerships chairman Baroness Ford warmly welcomes the creation of Communities England.
She says: My board and senior colleagues are delighted by the outcome of the Housing and Regeneration Review.
We have consistently supported the creation of a single, new agency and a streamlined supply chain and we look forward to playing our part in creating that new agency.
On a personal note I am absolutely delighted to have been invited to lead the team which will undertake the planning for the new organisation.
The staff of English Partnerships, The Housing Corporation and DCLG have an enormous amount of talent and experience and I am looking forward to working with them in creating Communities England.
Peter Dixon, chair of the House Corporation, says: The new agency will bring the strengths of the Housing Corporation, English Partnerships and the DCLG together to form a single agency dedicated to creating places that people choose to live and stay in.
We look forward to working with new colleagues, building on past successes to create a body which can deliver even more to communities and the country as a whole.”
Todays announcement follows a nine month review by the DCLG, in very close co-operation with the Housing Corporation and English Partnerships.