The Department for Communities and Local Government has been renamed — now the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).
Commenting on the appointment, Sajid Javid said: “Building the homes our country needs is an absolute priority for this government, and so I’m delighted the Prime Minister has asked me to serve in this role. The name change for the department reflects this government’s renewed focus to deliver more homes and build strong communities across England.”
Tim Miles, a Partner in Social Housing team at national law firm Clarke Willmott LLP, commented: “It is disappointing that a real opportunity has been missed in the cabinet reshuffle today to make Housing a standalone cabinet post. Effectively instead the word “Housing” has been added to the beginning of Sajid Javid’s formal job description which now becomes Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.
“As he was already responsible for the Department of Communities and Local Government brief, which already encompassed responsibility for housing, it is difficult to see how Mr Javid’s day-to-day role will actually change, unless the Minister of State position for Housing is abolished, which would seem unlikely.
“Beyond symbolism, since 2010 the lion’s share of government housing policy has focused on increasing home ownership, which is only half of the story. The wider issues of increasing rents and lack of supply of rental homes (including genuine social rent homes) will also be required to be addressed if the housing crisis can ever truly be solved.
“To be an effective Secretary of State, Mr Javid will need to advocate strongly for a change of direction of government policy to address all areas of the housing crisis.”