Residential  

Eighth housing minister in eight years named

Eighth housing minister in eight years named

Kit Malthouse has been appointed as minister of state for housing, the eighth minister to take up the role in eight years.

Mr Malthouse’s predecessor, Dominic Raab, exited the role yesterday (9 July) after accepting the role of Brexit secretary in a cabinet reshuffle prompted by the resignation of David Davis on Sunday night.

The UK government has seen eight housing ministers in the last eight years, four under prime minister Theresa May in the last two years alone.

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Conservative MP for North West Hampshire, Mr Malthouse previously held the position of parliamentary under-secretary of state for family support, housing and child maintenance.

The new minister is a chartered accountant and founded Midlands-based finance company County Finance Group, which he now chairs.

Mr Malthouse previously had a close working relationship with Boris Johnson, who yesterday (9 July) resigned from his position as foreign secretary to be replaced by Jeremy Hunt, appointed as deputy mayor for policing in 2008 and deputy mayor for business and enterprise in 2012 under the then London Mayor.

Ishaan Malhi, chief executive and founder of estate agency Trussle, thinks the housing reshuffle is not a promising move for the country's housing prospects. 

He said: "I wish I could say I was surprised by the news but sadly this pattern has become all too predictable and once again we will have to listen to the pledges of another person in the job, the fourth since Theresa May took office.    

“Since founding Trussle, I’ve gained a better understanding of the many problems that plague the housing market and what’s abundantly clear is that we desperately need not only innovation, but continuity of leadership and a strong hand willing to be brave on policy.

“Instead, what we have is a government that doesn’t seem to be taking the issue seriously and an unstable Housing post. In a month’s time, we were expecting to see major policy changes via the National Planning Policy Framework. How can the public believe that any proposal will be delivered when the people who make them never stick around?

“Everyone should be able to dream of owning a home but this is becoming increasingly difficult for the current generation. In my opinion, there are three key issues which must be addressed. Housing supply must be prioritised, piecemeal tax breaks must end, and there must be renewed effort to encourage innovation across the sector."

An investment programme of at least £44bn over the next five years was announced at Autumn Budget 2017, putting the UK on track to raise the supply of homes to 300,000 a year on average by the mid-2020s. 

This year's Spring Statement confirmed the government is working with 44 areas on their bids into the £4.1bn Housing Infrastructure Fund to help build the homes that the country needs and the Housing Growth Partnership, which provides financial support for small housebuilders, will be more than doubled to £220m.