This the first of four posts based on a popular Christmas song, each of which will contain a quick recap of the week's news from DCLG.
In their new (unofficial) roles as festive gift givers, this week Sajid Javid and Gavin Barwell have presented us with:
- Confirmation that the Homes and Communities Agency has survived the statutory review conducted earlier this year - with a "renewed and revitalised" purpose of supporting house-building. The review has also recommended that the HCA's regulatory responsibilities for social housing are hived off into a separate 'stand alone' organisation. I wonder what they will call the new standalone regulator... "the Tenant Services Authority" has a nice ring to it.
- A new date for publication of the Housing White Paper, which, according to a statement Sajid Javid gave to the House of Commons on 28 November, is now due to be released in January 2017.
- A promise, contained in the same statement, that local growth fund allocations will be announced over the next week or so; and
- The launch of a major investment project for the private rented sector - by way of a development partnership involving the HCA and Dandara. The press release for the deal promises "up to 1,500 new construction jobs could be created across the 3 cities from the deal which will provide 2,062 rental homes" spread across Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham. More information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/2000-new-homes-and-thousands-of-jobs-in-birmingham-leeds-and-manchester
The Review concluded that the agency should continue in its current form as a public body with a renewed and revitalised purpose of supporting housebuilding and increasing the supply of available land. To help achieve this purpose it also recommended that the agency’s social housing regulation function should become a separate public body. This is an administrative change that will not affect the regulator’s powers or operations.