Residential super agency the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) has hit its first year target to invest £3.9bn on its housing and regeneration programme, according to preliminary figures for 2008/2009.

At a presentation yesterday Sir Bob Kerslake, chief executive of the HCA which the government launched on 1 December following the merger of English Partnerships and the Housing Corporation, said the results were ‘a massive achievement given market conditions’.

He said the agency delivered 53,445 affordable homes in the 12 months to 1 April, against a target of 54,110 which was an ‘inherited’ target of its predecessor but described it as a ‘back-loaded programme’ with a lot of activity coming in the four months following the merger.

The HCA said it will maintain the 50,000 target for 2009/2010 even though the economic recession has deepened. ‘We’re going to have to work hard to deliver our targets,’ Kerslake said, adding that the agency has shifted 100 corporate jobs from its London headquarters to regional offices to ‘strengthen front line operations’

However Kerslake also reported that private sector investment in regeneration for 2008/2009 was, at £1.02bn, below the agency’s target. Kerslake indicated that the agency may take on a bigger role in masterplanning and land assembly for high-risk, mixed-use regeneration projects. ‘The public sector has to play a more pro-active role in delivery,’ he said.