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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Housing minister Raab now takes over David Davis exit-EU role

It’s been announced this morning that Dominic Raab - who became housing minister just a few months ago - is to become the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union.

He is replacing David Davis, who resigned last night.

This now means there will be yet another housing minister - the 17th in 21 years. 

Raab was a prominent anti-EU campaigner during the 2016 Referendum campaign and in his short spell as housing minister made many more social media contributions on the subject of the EU than he did about housing.

Since becoming housing minister in January he has made few key speeches while his recently-appointed boss - James Brokenshire, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government - made the running on policy announcements such as the proposals for three year standard tenancies in the private rental sector. 

Raab's tenure as housing minister is the shortest of the 16 who have held the post since 1997. There is no word yet on who will replace Raab at the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

There’s been swift reaction from the Guild of Property Professionals. 

Iain McKenzie, chief executive, says: "We are set to get our eighth housing minister in eight years. This is completely unacceptable. The government accepts that we are in a housing crisis with a shortage of good-quality homes, and yet they are showing time and time again that housing is not a priority.

“The market needs a housing minister with industry experience, who is dedicated to understanding and fixing the problems the market is facing. The government needs to accept this and give long-term stability to the housing department, or housing should be removed from government control.” 

Meanwhile Russell Quirk, chief executive of Emoov, says: “Housing has become the poor relation in British politics, a ministerial post that should have a well-oiled revolving door attached to the position. We are in the midst of a housing crisis - a deficit of 100,000 new homes each year and acute unaffordability, whereby first-time buyers will soon celebrate their 40th birthday before being able to buy a home.

“We need consistency in the Government where the housing brief is concerned and it must be a proper cabinet position, not a junior role relegated to the corridors of Whitehall. How are we as an industry or indeed the civil service to take the Government seriously when they say that housing is a priority when, in fact, they play ‘Fantasy Housing Minister League’ like this with scant regard for the consequences" he concludes.

  • James Hurst

    There is a panacea to fix the housing market. Rents too high, properties left empty, rogue landlords, unaffordable homes, second homes, everything. That fix is in theory simple: BUILD MORE HOUSES. It's the silver bullet, the cure-all. And the way to deliver that is a good housing minister.

    This Government have clearly displayed their lack of commitment and concern by not treating this post with the importance it deserves. What we have instead is short-sightedness and unhelpful tinkering around the edges. Will they ever wake up?

  • Jon  Tarrey

    And so the merry-go-round continues. How long was Raab in the job? Five or six months.

    I suppose the position of Housing Minister is pretty redundant now that there is effectively a Housing Secretary with a place at the Cabinet table in James Brokenshire, but still. The role is a joke; a mere stepping stone to something else.

    Raab has spent his whole time as Housing Minister rabbiting on about Brexit; now he gets the chance to do that full-time. I'd say he couldn't do any worse than his predecessor, but having seen a fair bit of Raab in the past I'm not sure that's the case. Brexit continues to be a total shambles orchestrated by a total shambles.

  • Rob  Davies

    What a surprise! Raab departs quicker than Sharma and Barwell. The government yet again showing how much they care about a housing. I thought it was a priority.

    Makes the tenure of Brandon Lewis look like a lifetime. Who will be next into the hotseat? (which is a more than apt description given no-one stays there for more than five minutes).

  • icon

    You think they would of learnt at some point! with an average of 145,000 homes being built year, against a target of 250,000,

    I know what lets change the housing minster for 8th time in 8 years!!

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