Dominic Raab has been appointed as the new Housing Minister, replacing Alok Sharma who was in post for just seven months. The appointment comes fresh on the news that the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) will be renamed the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).
Sajid Javid MP remains in role, with a new title of Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.
The changes reflect Government’s commitment to tackling the housing crisis, as outlined in the White Paper and Autumn Budget from 2017, which is expected to deliver 300,000 additional homes a year. However, neither Javid’s role as Housing Secretary or the new department’s role is expected to change.
Sajid Javid said: “Building the homes our country needs is an absolute priority for this government and so I’m delighted the Prime Minister has asked me to serve in this role. The name change for the department reflects this government’s renewed focus to deliver more homes and build strong communities across England.”
Chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), Brian Berry said; “The inclusion of the word ‘housing’ sends a clear signal as to the importance the government places on housing policy… However, actions always speak louder than words, which is why it is vital that we also see continuity, application and a continued willingness to be bold where necessary in housing policy.”
Raab, formerly of the Ministry of Justice, is the latest in what Sharma unfortunately joked about as the “revolving door” of Housing Ministers. The industry received the news as disappointing due to the constant state of flux represented by another new minister, meaning repeated conversations that will now have to be had for the third time in 18 months.
Little is known of Raab’s stance on housing, other than the fact that he’s a staunch defender of protecting the Green Belt and has consistently voted for charging market rent to high earners in council homes and to phase out secure tenancies for life.
However, NaCSBA has had an exceptionally good reception with the previous two Housing Ministers, and welcomes the opportunity to share the benefits and barriers facing the custom and self-build homes in the UK, and what can be done to grow the sector.
Photo: Number 10, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/