CIOB response to the appointment of a new Minister of State for Housing
Following yesterday’s government reshuffle, the Rt Hon Christopher Pincher, MP for Tamworth, has been appointed as Minister of State for Housing at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). His responsibilities will most likely include those that sat with his predecessor: supporting the Housing Secretary on housing supply policy and building safety and regulations (including the Building Safety Programme).
The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) looks forward to working with the new Minister for Housing to make sure the construction industry’s priorities are well understood and supported, particularly as this year should be one in which the implementation of the recommendations from the Hackitt review start to roll out and quality in construction becomes a focus.
The CIOB would like to see quality as a priority when it comes to the development of affordable new homes, alongside progress on the New Homes Ombudsman, which the government announced plans for in October 2018. What is now needed is the certainty of a Housing Minister to drive forward the necessary reforms to redress our housing system.
Robert Jenrick MP retains his role as Secretary of State for MHCLG, with overall responsibility for the strategic direction of the department’s Building Safety Programme, established to ensure residents of high-rise buildings are safe in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
CIOB Chief Executive, Caroline Gumble, said: "We look forward to working with the new Housing Minister to make progress on the big issues facing our industry. However, given that this is our tenth housing Minister in ten years, I would like to see signals from MHCLG and from the Minister that our sector, which is an important driver of the economy, is taken seriously and will be supported at government level. I have to confess to also being slightly disappointed that the calls we have made for months for a Minister with a background in the sector or some previous insight into it haven’t been heard. I am confident, though, that the CIOB and our sister professional bodies, with which we work closely to develop consistent and robust positions to support the construction community, can work with the Minister to deliver on the priorities for the construction industry.”
The CIOB has welcomed the announcement from the Prime Minister to invest in infrastructure to boost the economy.
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