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Shelter complains about Housing Minister revolving door

Shelter and other campaigning organisations have spoken out in dismay at the latest ‘housing minister revolving door’.

Yesterday Rachel Maclean was sacked from the housing post after just nine months in the job - she was the 15th housing minister since 2010 and the eighth since 2020. 

Shelter chief executive Polly Neate says: “Rents are rocketing, evictions are soaring and homelessness is at a record high, yet we haven’t had a minister stay in the job long enough to get to grips with the problem.


“The 16th housing minister since 2010 has to hit the ground running and the first thing on their to-do list must be to pass a watertight Renters Reform Bill and scrap no-fault evictions.

“Time is of the essence for this government to finally prioritise housing and push forward with the solutions that will end the housing emergency and improve people’s lives – including building decent social homes, fixing private renting and making it more affordable.”


Generation Rent, in a post on X - formerly Twitter - says: “Reshuffle confirms we’ll have a 16th housing minister in 13 years, a day before vital evidence sessions for the Renters Reform Bill start. Renters have been messed around with so much with delays to this law [sic] - will anyone stick around long enough to address the housing crisis?”

The Renters’ Reform Coalition says Maclean had attended its events and was "willing to engage with us – we wish her well for the future”.

The organisation’s campaign manager, Tom Darling, says: “It is frankly shambolic that we will now be on to our 16th housing minister since 2010, and incredibly nine just since the Government promised to end no-fault evictions.

“Now, just before the first day of the important committee stage [of the Renters Reform Bill] which involves poring over the detail of the Bill, she is sacked – it makes a mockery of Government and shows a shocking lack of respect for England’s 11m private renters."

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    Wasn't the new Housing minister an estate agent at some point? I guess that makes him more likely to have a bit of a clue about housing than some of his predecessors. At least he should have first hand experience of the good, the bad and the downright disgusting state of some houses.

    Hopefully he realises there wasn't a housing crisis until the government decided to try to manipulate the market with punitive tax treatment of landlords. It doesn't really matter how many Housing ministers come and go while we have such blatantly excessive taxation. Without a steady stream of new landlords to replace the older ones who decide to retire or die we have a shrinking PRS and therefore a housing crisis. An expanding population just magnifies the problem.

    The RRB is creating a truly toxic environment for landlords so it is hardly surprising young people are discovering far better things to invest in.
    Abolishing Section 21 is a very bad move for tenants if the main consequence is that landlords sell up. Some will sell, some will try to adapt and see what the alternative is really like. Ultimately very few good tenants were ever evicted so it's hard to see how abolishing Section 21 is in any way beneficial to the vast majority of good tenants. Bad tenants are going to find life a whole lot more difficult if Section 8 becomes the only eviction route. Apart from Local Authority housing departments who exactly is supposed to benefit from the abolition of Section 21?

    Other aspects of the RRB are concerning.
    Pets are completely unsuitable in most high density housing. Tenants are usually at work all day so the animals will be left unattended for many hours a day. How many people got pets during lockdowns and then abandoned them after they discovered the reality of pet ownership? Aren't animal shelters overflowing with abandoned pets?

    Fixed term tenancies work well for some landlords and tenants. Winter lets are crucial for seasonal workers. A great many coastal areas have logistics companies nearby who rely on seasonal workers for the winter period. These are often people who have a summer gig abroad and come back to the UK for the winter. It will be a travesty if landlords are too scared to let to them for 5 or 6 months because they are prevented from offering a fixed term tenancy.


    Quite right on all points: pity you are not the new housing minister.
    Yes, he was an estate agent; and so (hopefully) might have had some contact with the lettings side of estate agency. Or at least realise the state of it, and where it is heading.

    Whatever, I doubt he will have little effect on the overall shape of the RRB: its too far advanced now for his input. He may help achieve a few small concessions at most.

    He is a minister on the greasy pole and likely aspires to be in the cabinet at some point (probably after a Labour Government). So he'll have to toe the party line.
    As proof, the failed ex-PM David Cameron has voiced concerns/opposition to some Government policy since he left Parliament (even though he decided to be relatively quiet, not a back seat driver). But interviewed yesterday, now he is Foreign Secretary, he admitted he will have to leave aside all those concerns and follow current policy -for the good of the Country (he really meant Conservative Party, trying to save its skin).

    BTW, the right of the Conservative Party must be seething: they are considered so unsuitable, even as junior ministers, that the PM brings in a centre-ist, EU loving, ex-PM at one of the top jobs. Now, the first no-confidence letter from a backbencher since the re-shuffle.

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    Lee Rowley was part of the Housing and Dependency Working Group at the Centre for Social Justice. You can read their publication "Housing Poverty - From Social Breakdown to Social Mobility". It was composed years ago though.

    He may have contributed to something more recent, but I haven't found it yet.

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    "The Renters’ Reform Coalition says Maclean had attended its events and was "willing to engage with us".
    Hint to Lee Rowley, engage with the suppliers - us landlords. A bunch of noisy activists (No-Shelter, Gen Rant) have hijacked the whole narrative. They supply nothing. It's like a bunch of vegans dictating the supply of beef to the UK without involving the farmers!
    As a one-time estate agent Rowley should be aware of this. But then, maybe he's been captured by the Blob. We shall see over the next few weeks ..

  • Richard LeFrak

    Shelter complaining again, now that's a surprise. Suppose Polly has to complain about something to justify her 150k a year.... Also Captain Darling calling a shocking lack of respect for 11m renters, I think he needs to go away and do his sums again. 2m displaced due to RRB, think Shelter who don't Shelter anyone should look at the root causes of these problems and address them.


    Changing the Housing Minister won't help solve the housing shortage.

    Changing the Chief Executive of Shelter just might make the problem less serious provided they accepted they are largely to blame by constantly demonising decent landlords and causing huge harm to decent tenants, especially families.

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    Pointless appointment, Labour are in power in 12 months 😰😰☠️☠️

  • icon

    Do Landlordtoday not have a template page that just says, "Shelter complains"?


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