Theresa May continued to shake-up her ministerial team yesterday by handing jobs to several junior ministers, but he her decision to appoint Dominic Raab as the new housing minister, replacing Alok Sharma, has been described as a ‘a step in the wrong direction’ for the housing market.
While nobody is questioning Raab’s ability to undertake the job, people are growing increasing frustrated with the merry-go-round of housing ministers, with Raab becoming the 15th MP to hold this role in 17 years.
Raab’s predecessor, Shama, held the position for little more than six months, which is clearly not enough time to fix the fix the broken housing market, especially as the prime minister has identified it as a key priority of her government.
The fact is that the turnover of housing ministers far outstrips the rate at which the average tenant moves home.
“Appointing a new housing minister is a step in the wrong direction for this Government. The industry needs political and economic certainty and stability at this crucial time to make progress on the housing front and bring forward the policies laid out in last year’s Housing White Paper,” said Félicie Krikler, director at Assael Architecture.
“Understanding and addressing the issues plaguing the market requires time and effort, as does engaging the wider industry,” Krikler added. “I hope that Dominic Raab can quickly contribute to the political push required towards unlocking the housing market.”
Grant Lipton, co-founder at Great Marlborough Estates, also fears that the appointment of yet another new housing minister threatens to destabilise the housing market.
He commented: “Progress on housing needs to be upheld. In recent months, the Conservative government has taken positive steps to addressing the housing crisis. However, the time-costly process of switching housing ministers threatens this momentum.
“The expansion of Sajid Javid’s remit is a positive move, and I hope that Dominic Raab will be able to quickly get on with the task at hand.”