Richie replaces Sir Bob Kerslake who is moving to be permanent secretary at the Department of Communities and Local Government.
She takes up the post on 1 November and will steer the Agency through a significant period of change.
The HCA’s role is to change under the new Government’s anti-quango regime with the agency shifting away from being a big primary housing funder towards operating as a smaller, enabling and investment organisation.
Pat Ritchie said: “The job ahead will be extremely challenging as we reshape the HCA to support the Government’s commitment to localism and drive out the best possible value for public money.
“The HCA has an important long term role and a strong offer to make to local authorities to help deliver their ambitions.”
She added: “Through our successful delivery we have demonstrated a culture of adaptability and a capacity for change, and as we approach the outcome of the spending review this characteristic will be key in effectively shaping our future.”