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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

So who will be the new housing minister?

The industry is awaiting news of exactly who will become the new housing minister and whether the role will have cabinet status.

Traditionally housing ministers have been junior appointments - but this time around the winning Conservative manifesto had housing as a major element so a new minister is likely to be higher profile in delivering government promises.

Brandon Lewis, the housing minister at the end of the last parliament, increased his Conservative majority in Great Yarmouth to a still-slim 1,878 - however, it is rare for the same minister to continue in post after a general election. 

Kevin Hollinrake, managing director of Hunters, was elected very comfortably as Tory member for Thirsk & Malton - he secured over 52 per cent of the vote - but it is unlikely a ‘newbie’ MP would immediately be elevated to even junior ministerial position.

With a working majority there is every reason to expect the Conservative government to introduce all of its manifesto housing pledges over the next few years.

The policies include:

- the extension of Right to Buy to 1.3m housing association homes in England;

- 200,000 homes to be built over the course of the next parliament for first-time buyers aged under 40, who will secure a 20 per cent discount;

- the launch of a new Help to Buy ISA for first-time buyers to help them get a subsidised deposit for a house;

- the creation of a £1 billion brownfield regeneration fund to unlock sites for 400,000 homes, which may involve identification of public sector sites for building.

We’ll bring you news of who is appointed to this key role as soon as we know.

  • Jon  Tarrey

    Whoever it is, I doubt they'll do the one thing they need to do - build more houses!

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    Shame that it is unlikely Lewis will continue and a shame that he only held the role for around a year. It seemed a perfect fit to have a private landlord as housing minister. I understand that many of the other Tories are landlords though so we'll see who gets the nod. Maybe it is a role Hollinrake could take on in the future - it would be especially good for agents if nothing else!

  • Algarve  Investor

    Yeah, I thought Lewis was doing a fairly decent job. Given more time, he could have done really well. As a private landlord, he had a unique insight into the PRS. Unlike most other politicians, he actually had experience in his field - I think it'd be a mistake to overlook him.

    As for the above policies, Right to Buy is a complete non-starter. A totally ridiculous, antiquated scheme that Cameron pulled out of the hat as last-minute election bribe. It was subsequently dismissed by just about everyone outside of Tory HQ. I don't even think Cameron thinks it's a good idea.

    I'm not even sure it's legal. I'm sure the housing associations will have something to say about their stock being sold off without their permission. And it will do absolutely nothing to stem the flow demand or increase the housing supply.

    200,000 new homes built - fair enough, but let's see if they follow through on this. They certainly didn't in the last parliament.

    Not sure Help to Buy is the way forward either. Flagship policy last time round, but from those I've spoken to it's been far from an overwhelming success and has only helped a small number of people.

    Brownfield regeneration is a good idea and would help to free up space for affordable housing. But it doesn't come without its issues. Again, let's see if they follow through on their promises.

    In other words, I'm not convinced by most of their policies and I think getting rid of Lewis would be a very bad idea.

  • Daniel Roder

    Put Lewis back in. Knows the property industry inside out and was doing a fairly decent job before the election.

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