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HCA to take on housing watchdog powers

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The Homes & Communities Agency has been spared from the government’s cull of quangos and will take on the regulatory powers of the soon-to-be-abolished Tenant Services Authority, LGC has been told.

LGC understands that housing minister Grant Shapps is expected to make an announcement on the future of the TSA before the Spending Review on 20 October, possibly as early as this week, with the body to be scrapped and its financial regulatory functions hived off to the HCA.

The move follows the completion of a review, launched by the government into the regulation of social housing, that was forced upon Mr Shapps after Treasury refused to give an initial green light to his plans to scrap the TSA.

Treasury had feared that scrapping the regulatory body would have undermined the credit worthiness of housing associations.

But LGC understands the review has concluded that the TSA can be abolished, so long as its watchdog function is handed to the HCA.

LGC understands the HCA will have its own administration funding halved in the CSR. But the agency will continue as a much smaller, “enabling body”, which councils will “call to get things done”, as Mr Shapps has previously said.

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