Unity chief executive backs Chancellor’s announcement on expanded HCA

Ali Akbor, chief executive of Leeds-based housing association Unity Homes and Enterprise, has welcomed the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s confirmation that the role of the Homes and Communities Agency will widen to become Homes England with a remit to drive sustained investment in new housing.

Ali Akbor

Ali Akbor

Responding to a range of housing announcements delivered by Philip Hammond in today’s Budget, Mr Akbor said:

“There was a clear but necessary acknowledgement from the Chancellor that the housing crisis must be tackled with much greater vigour than in recent times, which is a positive step.

“The expansion of the role and powers of the HCA, already one of our primary partners, is a welcome move and confirms what has been rumoured in the housing sector for some time.

“£44 billion in Government support for housebuilding is a step forward, yet someway short of the £50 billion that Communities Secretary Sajid Javid recently said was required.

“The target of building 300,000 homes a year should be commended but would be much more impressive if the timeline was considerably shorter than the mid-2020s given the pressing need for new housing that the Chancellor himself has conceded.

“More details of the Government’s measures will inevitably emerge in the days and weeks ahead and be subject to proper scrutiny.

“But as one of England’s foremost BME-led housing associations with three decades of proven experience in building homes for people who really need them, we look forward to be fully involved in delivering for the communities we serve.”