Thursday, 05 March 2015

Andy Rose told to find ways to build new homes without government help

New HCA chief prepares for life without grant

The new chief executive of the Homes and Communities Agency was selected to find ways of getting homes built without further government grant funding.

As first revealed by Inside Housing last Thursday, Andy Rose, a partner at Agfe, a European asset manager and former Treasury infrastructure boss, will be taking on the top job on a permanent basis from 15 April.

Mr Rose beat off strong competition for the £160,000-a-year role on the strength of his of background in public and private finance as chief executive of Infrastructure UK.

HCA chair Robert Napier this week explained that the selection was made looking beyond 2015 when the government’s £1.8 billion affordable homes programme completes, and sent out a ‘clear message to the [housing] sector’.

He added that Mr Rose’s appointment was made on the assumption there may be no more grant in a repeat programme.

Mr Napier said: ‘You come to the rapid conclusion that there is going to be limited public money, and you have to find other ways of getting the houses built that we need. An obvious way is better use of public sector land… second is the use of the government balance sheet through guarantees, and thirdly ways of leveraging in the private sector.

‘We need to move with greater momentum and urgency. We are thrilled we have found someone who comes from a strong commercial and financial background who completely understands that agenda.’

Mr Rose will take over from interim boss Richard Hill who will resume his role as deputy chief executive and director of programmes.

David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said: ‘Andy Rose’s substantial experience in both the public and private sectors, particularly in attracting finance for long-term infrastructure projects, prepares him well for this role.’

Readers' comments (6)

  • Tony Cook

    It's official then, the HCA is 100% in the pockets of private finance. Not that this government is moving with "greater momentum and urgency" to conclude the privatisation by stealth of social housing provision. It's just the unintended consequence of putting inflationary pressure on the housing benefit bill in order to justify further austerity measures. Nice one.

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  • Private landlords ahoy - your time has come

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  • Simon Martinez

    From 100% grant to 0% grant. What weapons can the HCA (or Successor Body) use to regulate, when they no longer hold the purse strings?

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  • Welcome back PFI there are no new idea`s under this
    set of under cooked out of touch westminster faceless
    wonders,we have a silent housing minister who must
    use semifore or pack mule to contact people or is
    it the so called civil service making these edics,and
    as far as the HCAs none action even westmister thinks
    its out of its depth and should be put down?

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  • Why is the sector obsessed with grant?- much could be achieved by engaging with the construction supply chain in a different way, more use of standard house building components (like the volume house builders do) and more innovative funding routes pls see my piece . This is an opportunity for the sector to create its own destiny, the sooner we stop relying on govt hand out the better

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  • Chris

    I think the whole nation would benefit from a life 'without Grant'.

    Meanwhile - the effects of making the user pay for more and more things will arise swiftly, and the detriment to an already broken society can only be large. Before long we will be back in the circumstances that existed before the concept of grant was bought forward as a solution - the tipping point of course will be whether the elite can make more gains with grant than without. Currently they are profiting from the crisis, but as soon as that runs out we can expect the tides to reverse.

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