“Over the last 20 years we have seen no less than 17 housing ministers with each spending an average of just 16 months in the position.”
Kit Malthouse has been appointed housing minister to replace Dominic Raab who was promoted to Brexit secretary yesterday following the resignation of David Davis.
Malthouse becomes the 15th housing minister in the past 17 years. He became an MP in 2015 representing North West Hampshire and since the beginning of the year has been parliamentary under secretary of state in the Department of Work and Pensions, looking after family support, housing and child maintenance.
Greg Hill, deputy CEO at Hill, said: “Over the last 20 years we have seen no less than 17 housing ministers with each spending an average of just 16 months in the position. If we are to truly stimulate housebuilding then it is vital that the government takes a longer term approach to the sector’s leadership – it is simply not possible to have a coherent policy when a merry-go-round of ministers must routinely pick up the pieces of their predecessor and start afresh.
“Our new housing minister, Kit Malthouse, will have much to grapple with, and with little background in the property sector, understanding the issues must be his priority.”
Nick Leeming, chairman of Jackson-Stops, commented: “Homeowners, housebuilders and those hopefuls amongst us will be left feeling disheartened and frustrated once again today as the fourth housing minister in two years takes up the position. It felt like slowly but surely Dominic Raab was starting to make a difference but less than seven months later we are once again left with a housing minister with very little housing experience.
“Quite frankly, with Brexit now less than a year away, it appears that Government is letting its focus on the UK property market fall by the wayside. The combination of further economic uncertainty, the constant chopping and changing of housing ministers, punitive stamp duty charges and high moving costs is proving a major barrier to home ownership and something needs to change if we are to see the situation improve any time soon.”
Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, added: “Another week, another Housing Minister. The industry has long bemoaned the turnstile approach to this crucial role but the pace of change is quickening. We’re now going through two Housing Ministers a year. Dominic Raab, Kit Malthouse’s predecessor, was only in post for a mere six months and before that, Alok Sharma was in the position for just seven months. The Government claims that housing is a priority yet this constant chopping and changing in terms of the person leading the charge would suggest otherwise.
“Having said this, we congratulate Kit Malthouse, who we look forward to working with to tackle the various challenges. We are hopeful that he will be given longer to take housing policy forward than his predecessors.”