Magazine article Public Finance

Homes and Communities Agency under Tory Threat

Magazine article Public Finance

Homes and Communities Agency under Tory Threat

Article excerpt

A multibillion-pound housing and regeneration agency set up just under a year ago would face the axe under a Conservative government.

Shadow housing minister Grant Shapps told house builders that the Homes and Communities Agency was 'cumbersome' and too expensive. 'They have 21 offices around the country and a £4.5m staffing bill per month,' he said.

Shapps, who has already indicated that the Conservatives would wind up the Tenant Services Authority, claimed the HCA was 'made up of lots of different quangos' and that some activities, such as training, duplicated private sector Initiatives.

He told a lunch organised by the National House Building Council on November 19 that while an agency was needed to own public land, it would be far cheaper for development grants to be given directly by the government.

Both the HCA and TSA were launched last December to replace English Partnerships and the Housing Corporation. …

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