On Monday, January 8, Prime Minister Teresa May reshuffled her Cabinet. Among the changes was Sajid Javid, secretary of state for Communities and Local Government who became secretary of state for Housing, Communities and Local Government. Dominic Raab also became housing minister, replacing Alok Sharma who had only been in the position for around six months. Below are comments from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), the National Federation of Builders (NFB) and the National Housing Federation (NHF).
Commenting on the change to Sajid Javid’s title, Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, 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 housebuilding 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.”
David Orr, chief executive at the NHF, said: “Redefining Sajid Javid’s role to clearly emphasise housing is a welcome demonstration of the Prime Minister’s commitment to fixing the UK’s broken housing market.
“But actions speak louder than words. If we are to meet the Government’s ambition of building 300,000 homes a year, every year, then we need a long-term supply of affordable land. The Government must ensure public land is used for housing and that private land is bought where it is needed to create new communities.”
Commenting on the announcement of Dominic Raab as the new housing minister, Brian Berry added: “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, added: “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.”
David Orr, said: “Congratulations to Dominic Raab MP on his new position. The Federation has had a strong track record of working with the Minister for Housing to end our nation’s housing crisis and we look forward to working with him closely, particularly around genuinely affordable and social housing.
“We hope that Mr Raab’s appointment will bring some continuity and stability to the challenge of ending the housing crisis.”