Only 6 months ago we reported on a new Housing Minister, Alok Sharma. To quote Monty Python, he is now an ex Housing Minister.
This afternoon (Jan 9th) Dominic Raab has been appointed as the new housing minister, the fifteenth politician to hold this role in 17 years.
Again the Prime Minister has failed to put someone in post who understands housing. Raab is (yet another) lawyer, specialising in international litigation and competition law. He later worked at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office between 2000 and 2006 on a range of issues from investor protection to war crimes policy.
Previous to Housing he was Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice, a sensible place for an experienced lawyer.
Successive Governments seem to be completely incapable of solving the housing crisis. We are told we need to build 240,000 new homes each year, but failed in this target every year since 1980, even the DCLG’s own statistics show this.
Both the Conservatives and Labour have failed to deliver their promises. Under Tony Blair the Labour Party promised to build 200,000 new homes every year. It didn't.
Gordon Brown subsequently promised to deliver 240,000 a year. He never reached this target.
David Cameron was careful not to promise anything specific but the general consensus that Britain should be targeting a minimum of 200,000 new homes a year has broadly guided the building industry. Despite this, even this number has been missed year in, year out.
One of the last acts before the 2017 election was for the then Housing Minister (Gavin Barwell, no. 14) was to issue a White Paper stating that Housing was Broken. Something seized on and repeated at the election.
We wait to see what is to happen.