Robert Napier, chairman of the Homes & Communities Agency, said he was 'determined' to tackle West Cumbria's poorest housing as he visited the area.
Napier toured Housing Market Renewal-funded projects in Whitehaven and Workington managed by local quango West Lakes Renaissance.
He was joined by the HCA's regional director for the North West, Deborah McLaughlin, who is also a member of the Cumbria Vision board. He visited Home Group's Woodhouse Evolution project in Whitehaven and the Senhouse Gateway and Derwentside renewal areas in Workington.
Napier said: "There is no doubt that HMR funding is making a real difference in West Cumbria, and it is particularly encouraging to hear such positive feedback from the residents themselves who are directly benefiting from the changes we are bringing about.
"Together with our partners, we are determined to rebuild communities and tackle related issues such as poor landlords, crime and antisocial behaviour. We will continue to ensure that we make the most effective use of resources which will equip us to cope with the challenges ahead."
The party was also given a tour of the former Corus steelworks site by new owners Eatonfield Developments, which proposes a mixed residential and leisure scheme at the site.
In 2008/09, West Lakes spent £11.5m of HMR funding. The HCA controls a budget of £17.3bn.