John Healey - a former housing minister from when Tony Blair was prime minister - has taken the housing post under Jeremy Corbyn and for the first time in recent years it will have full shadow cabinet status.
In addition, Corbyn has told his first meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party since becoming leader that he has three priorities - the first is to address the housing shortage, with the second and third being to win local and general elections in the future.
Healey has held a string of government and opposition positions.
Over 15 years ago he was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Gordon Brown, then served in Treasury roles until he became minister for local government in 2007.
From June 2009 until May 2010 he was Minister of State for Housing, which he then shadowed for six months after Labour lost that year’s general election.
In recent months Healey has been outspoken in his support for social housing, creating a pressure group - Social Housing Under Threat, or SHOUT - and has promoted reforms of the private rental sector in Parliament.
Inside Housing, a social housing publication, says Healey’s staff have been modelling projections for the long-term savings that could be made to the government’s spending on housing benefit by funding the large-scale construction of social rented housing.