Homes England, the new national housing agency, has been officially launched by Housing Secretary Sajid Javid. Replacing the Homes and Communities Agency, Homes England is to play the major role in helping the government deliver its target of building 300,000 homes every year by the mid-2020s.
Mr Javid confirmed Homes England’s status during a visit to a former airfield at Alconbury in Cambridgeshire where 5,000 new homes are being built using government funding.
He said: “This government is determined to build the homes our country needs and help more people get on the housing ladder. Homes England will be at the heart of leading this effort.
“The development at Alconbury is a prime example of how the agency has worked to deliver thousands of new homes, as well as improve roads and create space for local businesses. The new agency will be key in replicating this approach right across the country and will help us build a Britain fit for the future.”
Brownfield sites key building block
Nick Walkley will be the chief executive of Homes England and Sir Ed Lister its chairman.
Mr Walkley said: “As Homes England, we will use our land, finance and expertise to expand the delivery of affordable new homes and connect ambitious partners to remove barriers to house building.”
The agency has pinpointed brownfield sites as one of the most important building blocks for its plan to increase the amount of affordable homes built across England. Local authorities have been asked to publish a brownfield register that will identify areas where people most want to live and allow Homes England to prioritise development there.
So far 310 local authorities have published a brownfield register that reveals more than 26,000 hectares of developable land on more than 16,000 sites. A brownfield site north-west of Cambridge that will be home to 10,000 new homes and a site for 3,200 homes in south Yorkshire are among the first to receive agency support.