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New VOPAG members announced

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has announced it has made a number of new appointments to its Vulnerable and Older People Advisory Group (VOPAG).

Responsible for ensuring the needs of vulnerable and older individuals across the country are being met by the government department, including through the construction of new housing, the VOPAG is one of four special advisory groups which report to the HCA.

With this in mind, the new appointments include president of the Local Government Association Lord Richard Best, Jackie Adusei from Ekaya Housing Association, Roger Battersby from PRP Architects and Gary Day from McCarthy and Stone.

Lord Best is perhaps the most high-profile addition to VOPAG this year, as he previously championed the Housing our Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation, which was founded in 2009.

Chairman of the HCA Robert Napier said: "I am delighted to welcome our new members to VOPAG and I look forward to working with them on meeting the housing needs of our older and vulnerable population.

"Notably it's the first time a member of the House of Lords has joined one of our Board Advisory Groups, a reflection of how important this issue has become."

VOPAG is currently chaired by Jeremy Porteus, director of the Housing Learning and Improvement Network, while representatives from a range of other organisations - including the Chartered Institute of Housing, the Department for Communities and Local Government, and Care and Repair England - are also involved.

Earlier this month, the HCA issued a swift response to the chancellor's Budget announcement that an additional £4.5 billion is to be funnelled into providing more new homes for people across the UK in the coming years.

HCA chief executive Richard Hill stated that the money will help thousands of Britons access finance for homeownership, as well as providing an essential boost to the construction sector at a time when the economy is distinctly unstable. 

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