HCA Chief: ‘There’s momentum across Whitehall to deliver on housing’

Nick Walkley said the government across departments is eager to do all it can to end the housing crisis.


Homes and Communities Agency CEO, Nick Walkley, has said the momentum is now with housing.

He welcomed the Budget announcements, saying “yesterday was a down payment to building 300,000 homes”.

He added: “What we are seeing is a sustained and routine investment in housing.

“This is a different era with a new toolkit to deliver.”

But he said all was not yet rosey for the sector.

“Even if we had all the capital and the land we wanted, the Farmer report showed us we don’t have the labour or the methods in which to solve the crisis.

“It is growth in the SME sector that will lead to an increase in housebuilding.

“We also still have work to do on social housing and creating a mix of products for the market.”

Walkley was speaking at the TCPA annual conference, which was cautiously optimistic following the Garden Towns announcement in the Budget yesterday.

The TCPA are big advocates of the schemes, having a New Communities Group with DCLG to help with delivery.

TCPA chair, Mary Parsons, said the announcement was “a real milestone” and credit chief executive, Kate Henderson, and the team who “lobbied and coerced” ministers.

Henderson herself spoke about her optimism post Budget, but added there were caveats.

She said: “It was great to see an enhanced role for the HCA, good to see five new Garden Towns and good to see the HRA lifted for some authorities.

“But this lifting should be extended to all of the local authorities with stock in the county.”

She issued a warning around the 300,000 target, saying “talking about numbers does not get homes and communities built”.

She also said it was key housing was “fit for future generations”.

She added: “We will build the homes needed but they have to be affordable, sustainable and beautiful.

“National government has got to trust local government to deliver.”

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