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HCA achieves key year one targets including 53,000 new homes

The Homes and Communities Agency has met its key targets in its first year of operation including delivering 53,000 new homes.

The HCA’s annual report for the year to 31 March 2009 shows it invested £3.9 billion through its various programmes, despite operating within severely depressed financial and housing markets.

The key achievements for the HCA and its predecessor bodies over the 12 month reporting period included:

  • Completion of 53,843 new and affordable homes for rent or sale (30,820 during the first four months of HCA operation)
  • Starts on site with 44,472 new and affordable homes for rent or sale (30,837 during the first four months of HCA operation)
  • Reclamation of 327 hectares of brownfield land
  • Creation of 450,487 square metres of employment floorspace
  • Attracted £1.035 billion of private sector investment

HCA chief executive Sir Bob Kerslake said: “Overall this has been a year of considerable achievement and despite tough operating conditions, this report shows that the HCA has delivered in all of its key areas during its first months of operation.

“This year and next will be equally challenging but we will continue to deliver against our targets, identify new funding streams and new ways of working, and maximise the impact of every pound of public money we invest.”

The HCA’s net expenditure for the year was £4.3 billion, reflecting the level of investment made in order to maintain programme momentum and the supply of new homes.

But as a result of economic conditions beyond the HCA’s control, the agency saw the value of its development assets fall by £1.1 billion resulting in an impairment charge of £542 million, while proceeds from land sales also fell from £333 million to £51 million.

However, despite the economic downturn the HCA said it also took significant steps to mitigate against its effects in order to support its developer and RSL partners.

These included:

  • The national clearing house – investing £350 million to bring 9,600 unsold developer homes into use as affordable housing
  • HomeBuy Direct – allocating £400 million, projected to help 10,000 people into home ownership in a sustainable way
  • Offered tailored packages of support, including flexible grant rates, to help Investment Partners maintain their development activities
  •  Mortgage Rescue – committing £285 million to help those struggling with mortgage repayments and who may be at risk of repossessions.