As part of the prime minister’s cabinet reshuffle, Dominic Raab has been appointed as the new housing minister, the 15th politician to hold this role in 17 years.
Raab takes over the role from Alok Sharma, who had only been in the post a little more than six months. He was appointed as housing minister in June 2017, replacing Gavin Barwell.
Sharma has moved to become employment minister at the Department for Work and Pensions.
The changes are part of Theresa May’s cabinet reshuffle. The prime minister has said that fixing the broken housing market is one of the key priorities of her government.
Yesterday May officially added “housing” to the job title of communities secretary Sajid Javid, giving the sector a cabinet presence for the first time.
Raab will work under Javid at the newly-named Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
Raab was previously a justice minister, having been appointed to this role in June 2017.
Speaking about the new housing minister, Mark Farmer, chief executive of Cast and author of a government-commissioned review into the construction industry, said: “A new year and a new housing minister. At a time when the housing crisis continues to be a political hot potato, strong ministerial capability and maintaining continuity will be extremely important factors.
“The housing brief is incredibly complex and any new minister needs to pick up the intricacies of the challenges very quickly, as well as immediately engaging the wider industry.”
He added: “Sajid Javid’s continued role as secretary of state with overarching responsibility for housing will help ensure the links to last year’s Housing White Paper commitments remains. However, it is critical that Dominic Raab gets up to speed quickly with a series of interconnected construction and housing sector challenges, and that through the secretary of state, he leverages the new Cabinet-level profile that housing has now assumed.”