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Equality is important for UK construction, HCA states

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has published new guidelines concerning the importance of equality and diversity in the UK construction sector.

Colin Molton, executive director for the south and south-west at the HCA, unveiled the new strategy and claimed political correctness has seen both equality and diversity become "box-ticking exercises" in recent years and this is a situation which the government is keen to address.

Mr Molton claimed the HCA is therefore embarking on a new initiative to ensure the UK construction sector is meeting the needs of the whole of society, demonstrating a commitment to older people, travellers and ethnic minority communities in the coming years.

As a result, the government is now removing much of the bureaucracy which presently surrounds the provision of services for these groups.

He made his comments at the joint HCA/National Housing Federation (NHF) event at the offices of Clarke Willmott in Bristol this week.

Gill Payne, director of campaigns and neighbourhoods at the NHF, said: "Through its transparent and common sense approach to equality, the HCA is setting a good example to the rest of the housing sector.

"The equality landscape is shifting and it is vital that housing associations continue to be aware of and embed their important responsibilities under the Equality Act."

Earlier this month, the HCA published statistics highlighting the fact the government department remains on track to meet its targets for new home construction across the UK in 2012/13.

The figures showed that during the first six months of the year, the HCA helped in the delivery of 11,981 homes - 38 per cent of its target for the year to the end of March 2013.

"It's also pleasing that just 18 months into the four-year spending period, a total of 55,000 new affordable homes have been completed," commented Pat Ritchie, chief executive of the HCA. 

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