This week (Monday 8th January) saw Prime Minister Theresa May reshuffle her Cabinet for the coming year.
Amongst the changes saw Sajid Javid add housing to his title, meaning he is now the Minister for Housing, Communities and Local Government.
Alok Sharma, who prior to the reshuffle was the Minster for Housing became Minister of State for Employment, meaning that Dominic Raab was installed as the new Housing Minister, the fourth new in three years. Dominic was previously the Justice Minister.
Commenting on the announcement of Dominic Raab as the new Housing Minister, Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB said: “Once again we have a new Housing Minister, which doesn’t really help build the continuity and greater certainty that the sector needs. However, Dominic Raab is an able and influential Conservative MP who we hope will bring a new energy and focus to the brief. We welcome him to the role and look forward to working with him. We hope that his focus will be on continuing to develop and implement a range of good sound policies which have already been set out by Government in the Housing White Paper and other statements. And we hope that he will be given longer to take housing policy forward than too many recent Housing Ministers!”
Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, echoed the FMBs point, saying: “Having four housing ministers in three years makes it increasingly difficult for the industry to establish an effective working relationship with the Government. Addressing the housing crisis doesn’t just require resolve, but also consistency of approach.”
Commenting on the change to Sajid Javid’s title, Brian Berry said: “The inclusion of the word ‘housing’ sends a clear signal as to the importance the Government places on housing policy by the renaming of the Department and the Secretary of State’s title. 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. We want to see continuity in terms of building on a set of good policies to unleash the capacity of the SME house building sector set out in the Housing White Paper; application in terms of effective implementation; and a willingness to still be bold where Government intervention is still called for.”