02 July 2004
A Housing Corporation decision to rely on large housing associations to build most new homes has been heavily criticised by MPs.
Large associations are receiving huge grants through the corporation's 'partnering approach' despite any evidence that they are more efficient, says a report from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister select committee.
Earlier this year, 71 registered social landlords were awarded £2.6bn to build 67,000 homes over two years. But MPs claim that RSLs with properties spread across the UK do not necessarily provide the same quality of management as small, locally based RSLs.
'The partnering approach has been implemented by the Housing Corporation without due consideration for its impact on the housing association movement,' says the June 29 report.
The committee also suggests that a rush by the government to build affordable homes has led to widespread confusion over which agency is responsible.
Clive Betts, who chaired the committee's inquiry, said the corporation manages its programme efficiently, but he added: 'It must not sacrifice quality in a bid to boost the number of homes built.'
The ODPM's end-to-end review, setting out ministers' plans for the future of the corporation, failed to appear on the same day as the select committee report, as anticipated.
The committee also calls on the government to reconsider plans for the corporation to award grants to private developers, as this would duplicate the role of English Partnerships and other agencies.