A new national housing agency – Homes England – has been launched by the newly-rebadged Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government.
As the successor to the Homes and Communities Agency, Homes England will be the main force pushing for the changes affecting new homes outlined in last February’s housing white paper.
The MHCLG says that by bringing together their existing planning expertise and new land buying powers, the new agency will play a major role in securing land, encouraging smaller and more innovative house builders into the market, and identifying brownfield sites.
It has the target of helping to deliver an average of 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s.
Visiting Alconbury in Cambridgeshire, a former airfield which will bring 5,000 new homes, Housing Secretary Sajid Javid 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 new agency will be key in replicating this approach right across the country and will help us build a Britain fit for the future.”
Around 310 local authorities have now published a brownfield register, revealing over 26,000 hectares of developable land on over 16,000 sites. More registers expected to be published over the next few weeks, says Homes England.
The body is expected to develop a new commercial strategy to acquiring, preparing, managing and developing land in areas of high demand and strategic importance.