Posted in February 2022
The Prime Minister - Boris Johnson, appointed a new Minister for Housing this week.
Stuart Andrew is the 11th UK Housing Minister to be appointed to this position in the last 12 years. Due to the longer-term planning involved in dealing with the ongoing housing crisis, the turnover in this department is quite surprising.
Andrew, is the MP for Pudsey in West Yorkshire and he replaced Christopher Pincher when the PM reshuffled his cabinet earlier in the week. He will now be working with Michael Gove,
The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
On accepting his new role as Housing Minister, Andrew is reported to have told the PM that he had grown up on a council estate and been “very struck” with what the Right to Buy scheme had achieved, by allowing council tenants to buy their own home.
He is also reported to have said that giving people the opportunity to buy their own properties was the surest way to convert them from Labour to Tory.
While the former Deputy Chief Whip is a fan of Right to Buy, he was not as keen on the Fitness for Human Habitation act in the rented sector, which he voted against.
Pincher was the longest-serving Housing Minister for more than 10 years, with two years’ service, but some critics have expressed their dismay at the regular turnover of different ministers and feel that he should have been given more time in the role to help fix the ongoing housing crisis.
Andrew is now in charge of meeting the Government’s target of committing to build 300,000 homes a year.
Industry reaction to the latest Housing Minister appointment:-
Nick Sanderson, CEO of the Audley Group said: “Eleven in twelve years. It sounds like a made-up statistic, but no, that really is the number of housing ministers there have been in a ridiculously short amount of time. Little wonder perhaps that major reform has been kicked to the curb.
“Mr Andrew has a real opportunity to alter that trajectory. The noise has increased in the corridors of power and now is the time to act. We need the housing minister to work with the health secretary and the minister for social care to create holistic solutions that create the right kind of housing.
“The newly announced taskforce on housing for older people is a positive start. Create more of the right housing to take pressure of the NHS and social care. It’s simple, it doesn’t cost the government money and it simply takes vision. And a bit of stability at the top.”
Andrew Shepherd, Managing Director at TopHat, also commented: “The appointment of Stuart Andrew as housing minister is certainly welcome news for the housebuilding industry. At the top of his agenda will be a number of pressing issues, such as the chronic shortage of housing in the UK, reforms to the planning system and decarbonising homes.
“Under Stuart Andrew, we can expect MHCLG and Homes England to remain forward thinking and innovative in their approaches, with this being vital if the government stands a chance of transforming the housebuilding industry into a more productive, greener industry. As it has done so for the last five or so years, the new housing minister must ensure his department continues championing modern methods of construction.”
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