New Housing Minister: Sector responses

New Housing Minister: Sector responses

Kit Malthouse has been announced as the new Housing Minister, following Dominic Raab’s move to Brexit Secretary. The sector responds:

Commenting on the announcement that Kit Malthouse MP is the new Housing Minister, Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “Another week, another Housing Minister. The industry has long bemoaned the turnstile approach to this crucial role but the pace of change is quickening.  We’re now going through two Housing Ministers a year. Dominic Raab, Kit Malthouse’s predecessor, was only in post for a mere six months and before that, Alok Sharma was in the position for just seven months. The Government claims that housing is a priority yet this constant chopping and changing in terms of the person leading the charge would suggest otherwise.

“Having said this, we congratulate Kit Malthouse, who we look forward to working with to tackle the various challenges. We are hopeful that he will be given longer to take housing policy forward than his predecessors.”

Richard Beresford, Chief Executive of the NFB, was disappointed to have lost Raab, whose focus tended to be on supporting smaller housebuilders and planning reform. He said: “It is always frustrating to lose ministers who are not only approachable and passionate about their brief but vocal about solutions. The housing crisis can only be solved with a consistent approach.

“The industry remains consistent in its approach and its message and this should prove a helpful platform to solve the housing crisis. We only hope that the next Minister for Housing shows a similar openness to solving the housing crisis and redoubles efforts to reform planning and make the housing market more competitive.”

Michael Voges, the Executive Director of ARCO, a body representing the retirement communities sector in the UK, added: “We are pleased to welcome Mr Malthouse into his new role. He will be hearing a lot about challenges but there are also great opportunities ahead. ARCO members have just pledged to ensure that the UK has 250,000 people living in retirement communities by 2030. This will deliver great housing and care for them and free up huge numbers of family homes across the country. We hope to work with Mr Malthouse in maximising this opportunity for the UK.”

Finally, Melanie Leech, Chief Executive, British Property Federation, commented: “The housing sector will be frustrated with yet one more Housing Minister, but there are extenuating circumstances and the national interest must come first. However, if the Government is to meet its aspirations of delivering 300,000 new homes each year, this revolving door of Housing Ministers must stop.

“What’s most important now is that we do not lose momentum behind the housing policies born out of the Housing White Paper, which supported housing of all tenures including build-to-rent. We welcome Malthouse, we hope his previous experience at City Hall and Westminster City Council means he can hit the ground running, and we look forward to working with him to undo the damage caused by the acute undersupply of new housing over the past few decades.”

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