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Housing and Regeneration Act 2008

Chapter 1 - General
Section 1 - Establishment and constitution

17.This section establishes the Homes and Communities Agency (“HCA”) and introduces Schedule 1.

Sections 2 to 4 – Objects: Principal powers: Powers: general

18.The HCA will operate across England, with a view to meeting the needs of people in England, by:

  • improving the supply and quality of housing;

  • securing the regeneration or development of land or infrastructure;

  • supporting in other ways the creation, regeneration or development of communities or their continued well-being; and

  • contributing to the achievement of sustainable development and good design.

19.These objects are broadly drawn to reflect the wide range of activities that the HCA will undertake at a national level. It will work to improve housing supply, including tackling housing shortages, and to improve the quality of housing including the condition of housing. It will also undertake the regeneration and development of any type of land or infrastructure; and will have a more general role supporting the overall well-being of communities, in relation to which it will be able to establish new communities or work to regenerate or develop existing communities. It will also work to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development and good design. Section 2(2) provides that “good design” includes design which has due regard to the needs of elderly and disabled persons. The HCA will also act as the residuary body for the development corporations for new towns established under the New Towns Act 1981 and for urban development corporations (which is currently the function of the Commission for the New Towns), as set out in section 52.

20.Generally, the HCA may do anything it considers appropriate for the purposes of its objects or for purposes incidental to them and its specific powers are set out in Chapters 2 to 4 of Part 1. Many of these powers are modelled on the powers available to the Urban Regeneration Agency, the Commission for the New Towns and the Housing Corporation.

21.The powers of the HCA are to be exercised for the purposes of the objects (or for purposes incidental to them) only. Those powers may be exercised independently of each other or together. Where the HCA is conferred with functions of the local planning authority in relation to a designated area under section 13, it will not be constrained by its objects in exercising those powers (but, in this situation, it will exercise those functions in accordance with existing planning legislation). Section 2(4) also refers to sections 19 and 44 of the Act, which make provision as to the objects of the HCA.

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