‘Revolving door’ of housing brief could spook investors


Industry leaders have called on the UK Government for ‘stability’ after the 16th person to hold the role of housing minister since 2010 was appointed to office this week.  

Lee Rowley MP has replaced Rachel Maclean MP in the role, as part of prime minister Rishi Sunak’s cabinet reshuffle.   

It follows a series of other housing ministers who have come and gone in the past 13 years – including Rowley in 2022 under former prime minister Liz Truss – which the homeless charity, Shelter, described as a “revolving door”. 

“I’ve been asked to step down from my role as housing minister,” Maclean wrote on X. “Disappointed and was looking forward to introducing the Renters Reform Bill to Committee tomorrow and later the Leasehold and Freehold Bill.”  

Maclean added: “It has been a privilege to hold the position and I wish my successor well.” 

Construction Products Association economics director, Noble Francis, wrote on social media the government’s “merry-go-round” treatment of the housing minister portfolio had been “shameful”. 

He said: “Given how important the housing market and house building sector are, especially after the sharp fall in demand after the government’s calamitous mini budget and sharp rise in mortgage rates that are leading to a sharp fall in the number of homes now being built and given the critical need for more housing and given the importance of the existing housing stock to the UK economy, to levelling up and to net zero, the constant change in the merry-go-round that is housing minister and government’s treatment of the housing minister position as unimportant is shameful, if sadly unsurprising.” 

Chief executive of the British Property Federation, Melanie Leech, said the “revolving door of housing ministers has turned once more” – but later welcomed the appointment of Rowley. 

Leech added: “For a sector that thrives on certainty and wants to see a long-term plan for housing, such discontinuity in personnel is a significant concern and actively undermines investment and long-term commitment across the sector. 

“The government is facing numerous challenges in reviving stalling housing supply, plus delivering the critical infrastructure required for future economic growth and carbon reduction.  

“To meet those challenges, we require political stability and continuity in decision-making.” 

Paresh Raja, chief executive of mortgage lender, Market Financial Solutions, told various media the “level of turnover” in housing ministers was a “notable concern” that impacted the behaviour of property investors. 

Raja said: “We are about to welcome the 16th housing minister since 2010, and while the chopping and changing of ministerial positions has become all too common across the board in recent years, the level of turnover in this particular role is a notable concern. 

“Creating clear and consistent policies – let alone delivering on them – is inevitably difficult with such frequent changes in personnel, and this impacts homeowners, buyers, renters and investors alike.” 

Other notable figures who have also been housing minster include Grant Shapps MP between 2010-2012, Alok Sharma MP between 2017-2018, and then Dominic Raab MP in 2018. 

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