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Javid given expanded housing role in reshuffle

Javid given expanded housing role in reshuffle

Local government and communities minister Sajid Javid has been given an expanded role to address housing in yesterday's (8 January) reshuffle of Theresa May's cabinet.

Mr Javid will remain in charge of his department, which has been rebranded as the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, and will be referred to as the Housing Secretary.

Since his appointment in 2016, Mr Javid has pushed ahead of tough regulation of landlords and has called for £50bn of funding to deal with the nation's housing shortage by ramping up housebuilding.

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Following the change to his job title, Mr Javid said: "Building the homes our country needs is an absolute priority for this government and so I’m delighted the Prime Minister has asked me to serve in this role.

"The name change for the department reflects this government’s renewed focus to deliver more homes and build strong communities across England."

Housing and local government is a devolved matter in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The Ministry of Housing and Local Government last existed between 1950 and 1970 when it was merged with the Ministry of Transport to form the Department for the Environment.

During this period it was associated with the boom in house building after the Second World War, which saw construction peak at around 400,000 a year in the 1960s.

Late last year the government said there were 217,350 new homes built in England in 2016-17, up 15 per cent on the previous year.

This is the first time in almost a decade that the milestone of 200,000 homes a year has been reached.

damian.fantato@ft.com