Memorandum submitted by Housing Corporation
Examination of Witnesses(Questions 353-359)
WEDNESDAY 30 OCTOBER 2002
353. Welcome to the Committee, this morning.
Can I ask you to introduce yourselves for the record.
(Dr Perry) I am Norman Perry, the Chief Executive
of the Housing Corporation, and I am accompanied by Neil Hadden,
the Assistant Chief Executive for Investment and Regeneration.
354. Do you want to say anything by way of introduction
or are you happy for us to go straight to questions?
(Dr Perry) We have submitted a memorandum
to the Committee, so we are very happy to answer questions.
355. In your memorandum, you speak of the future
of the Housing Corporation and the fact that regional government
will have an impact on the future of your organisation. What will
be the future role of the Housing Corporation if funding allocations
are handled by new regional authorities? Also, where will you
stand when inspection responsibilities are transferred to the
(Dr Perry) If I can take the latter first. The decision
to have a Single Housing Inspectorate was one that was announced
in the spending review and, as you will know, the Deputy Prime
Minister decided that it should be located within the Audit Commission.
However, the regulatory function of the Housing Corporation remains
unimpaired and the reports which the Housing Inspectorate produces
on the services to tenants provided by housing associations will
be reported to us in order that we can use them in forming regulatory
judgments about housing associations. On the investment side,
clearly the White Paper on the English regions envisages elected
regional assemblies as having housing functions. There is an issue
of when that happens and the parliamentary timetable has yet to
be established, but we have at least a clear five years run of
continuing to be the Government's main vehicle for housing investment
and even then, when regional assemblies are in being, the Government
of the day will need to consider how it wishes to deliver a national
housing policy. So, we are fairly bullish about the future.
356. Have you ever submitted any evidence either
to the Department or to any other organisation as to the future
of housing associations following the responsibility of regional
(Dr Perry) I am sorry, the future of housing associations
or the Corporation?
357. The Corporation.
(Dr Perry) On the future of the Corporation, since
we are an executive non-departmental public body, we follow whatever
instructions we get from the Government.
358. Although there is the loss of the inspection
responsibility to which you referred, what about the question
of value for money or quality? You did say that they would report
to you, did you not?
(Dr Perry) That is right.
359. So we are duplicating the situation, are
(Dr Perry) No, not really. We are the regulator of
the 2,000 housing associations and we have