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New HCA chief sheds light on construction future

The construction industry is continuing to pull itself back onto its feet after the devastating effects of the economic crisis in 2008. In order to do so, however, all parties involved in supporting the industry – politicians, development agencies, construction companies – must cooperate on policies, strategies and funding issues.

It will come as good news to the industry, then, that the new chief executive of the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and former Infrastructure UK head, Andy Rose has said that he is very impressed with how organised housing groups are in their lobbying of Westminster and also how open the government is to input.

Rose was speaking to industry publication, Construction News, just two weeks after stepping into his new position. He said that the relationships are in place that will allow the construction – and particularly the housing – industry to forge ahead with its recovery.

“I’ve been impressed by how the housing sector seems to have organised itself into groups that have the ear of government,” Rose explained, stating that he has already met twice with housing minister Mark Prick, with senior civil servants and is holding meetings with the Treasury almost daily.

He told Construction News that his role with the HCA – which holds the responsibility for delivering billions in housing projects in England – is as a liaison and filter for the housing industry, rather than as a lobbyist.

“Everyone has a view on what’s important to them, our job is to voice what’s important for the sector,” he told the publication. “Will [Treasury] get tired of seeing me? Almost certainly. But one of the things I learnt from my prior experience is if you just become a mouthpiece for stakeholders then eventually [government] will close their ears to you.”

He said that while companies are understandably looking to make profits, he will be pushing for developers to deliver volumes of homes which will, in turn help to support construction jobs involved in all aspects of home building.