Law News

Government Appoints Fourth Housing Minister in Three Years

Rose Jinks - January 10, 2018

As part of Theresa May’s latest cabinet reshuffle, Dominic Raab has been appointed as Housing Minister.

Raab, the MP for Esher and Walton in Surrey, replaces Alok Sharma, who was just seven months in the post. He is the Government’s fourth housing minister in three years.

Raab moves from the Ministry of Justice, joining the rebranded Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government (DHCLG) as Minister of State for Housing. “Planning” appears to have been removed from his title.

While the industry does not question Raab’s ability to undertake the job, experts are growing increasing frustrated with the changeover of housing ministers, with Raab becoming the 15th MP to hold this role in 17 years.

Raab’s predecessor, Sharma, held the position for just over six months – clearly not enough time to fix the broken housing market, especially as the Prime Minister has identified it as a key priority of her Government.

To put the turnover of housing ministers into property perspective, the rate of change far outstrips the rate at which the average tenant moves home.

David Cox, the Chief Executive of ARLA Propertymark (the Association of Residential Letting Agents), and Mark Hayward, the Chief Executive of NAEA Propertymark (the National Association of Estate Agents), are trying to remain positive. They both responded to the news: “We would like to congratulate Dominic Raab on his appointment to Minister of State for Housing. We have been working closely with Alok Sharma in this role previously, alongside Sajid Javid as Communities Secretary, to make suggestions on plans to ultimately regulate the sector and make the process of buying, selling, renting or leasing a property better for consumers.

“If housing is genuinely a priority for the Government, then continuity and consistency with the new Housing Minister and Sajid Javid is absolutely key, and we look forward to working with them both over the coming months.”