Today, the government released a review of Homes England to make sure it “benefits taxpayers”.
The non-ministerial public agency funding new affordable housing in the UK was among 40 agencies selected for a “periodic review” as part of the Public Agency Assessment Program.
Tony Poulter, who is not the chief executive officer of the Department of Transportation, was asked to lead the review. The former PwC adviser said in a statement: “I hope […] makes recommendations that will help the Department for Upgrades, Families and Communities (DLUHC) and Homes England achieve their goals as efficiently as possible.”
“I am delighted to be asked to lead this review. Homes England has a huge responsibility to provide housing and renewable sites across the country.”
Homes England was last fully reviewed in 2016 when it was called the Family and Community Authority.
Three separate internal reviews were held in 2020, each of which suggested improvements in the way DLUHC and Homes England work together, as well as in governance structure, accountability and purpose. The review comes shortly after Homes England finally announced a long-awaited strategic plan under which it said it will see it re-align itself around renewables, rather than just providing pure housing.
The latest review will assess “whether Homes England’s current powers, legal form and distribution model are appropriate for the functions it is expected to perform.”
It will also look at “whether the assessment of the agency and its programs allows it to deliver economic and social value.”
Homes England’s efficiency, governance and accountability, and how it works with the DLUHC, will also be within the scope of the review.
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Poulter and his team will consult with a wide range of stakeholders including UK government agencies, consumers, businesses and representatives, as well as with the board of directors, employees Member and senior manager of Homes England.
The assessment notice comes as it was revealed that Homes England delivered 36,478 new homes starting on site and 32,990 completions between 1 April 2022 and 31 March 2023 – Both are down sharply from the previous year’s figures. Chief executive Peter Denton said the numbers reflect “delivery challenges faced by the residential construction sector over the past year.”
Homes England has a portfolio of over 9,000 hectares of land and around £16 billion in combined capital expenditures (loans, grants, equity and guarantees) to roll out in 2027/28.
When it comes to the Help to Buy programme, it is the sixth largest mortgage lender in the UK. It has a range of statutory powers, including mandatory purchases, that it can use to accomplish its goals.
Rachel Maclean, minister for housing and planning, said: “We remain committed to our goal of building 300,000 homes a year and this review of Homes England will look at how we work together as we move forward. continue to build the homes this country needs.”
A Homes England spokesperson said: “This is part of a cabinet office-led standards review process that all Arms Control Authorities are required to follow and that typically takes place over three years. once. Homes England’s last review was over six years ago and so we look forward to working with the lead reviewer and their team.”