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UK agency increases public sector activity

A new agency designed to solve England’s housing deficiencies goes live today. Following the passing of the Housing and Regeneration Act in July, the Homes and Communities agency, run by Sir Bob Kerslade, will receive £5billion a year to create and regenerate affordable housing throughout England. The agency will bring together the functions of English Partnerships, the investment functions of the Housing Corporation, the Academy for Sustainable Communities and key housing and regeneration programmes delivered by Communities and Local Government.

The investment joins the Building Schools for the Future programme as well as Crossrail and the Thames Gateway proposals as evidence that the future of architecture in the UK appears to rest within the public sector. But Sir Bob Kerslade warned that expectations would have to be readjusted. Speaking with the UK’s Financial Times about the Thames Gateway and the Government’s plan to build 106,000 new homes at by 2016 Kerslade said: “"These were clearly ambitious targets at the beginning and the market conditions have made them even more ambitious. It's important to do a bit of a stock take about those targets in the light of where we are now.

"I personally think the Gateway is capable of creating that level of jobs and housing, but what we need to look at is whether that might happen over a longer timescale."

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