Theresa May appoints new housing minister

By Isabelle Grange

July 28, 2016


Brandon Lewis is replaced by Gavin Barwell as housing minister, although it’s still considered a junior ministerial role….

As part of the sweeping changes made as she appoints her first cabinet, Prime Minister Theresa May announced Gavin Barwell as Minister of State for Housing, Planning and Minister for London at the Department for Communities and Local Government. Brandon Lewis, who previously held the junior ministerial role, will now be Minister of State for Policing and Fire Service. The new housing minister is the MP for Croydon Central and will work closely with SajidJavid, who has just been appointed Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

An avid user of social media, Barwell announced on Twitter his delight at his new role, saying he was looking forward to working with housing associations, councils, developers as well as investors to make sure the homes people deserve and need are built. In reference to his additional role as Minister for London he added he was also looking forward to “working with the Mayor of London to continue the success of our diverse, wonderful capital – and that all Londoners share in it.”

However, there is likely to be some disappointment in the housing industry that housing is still considered a junior ministerial role and not a cabinet position. A major policy goal Barwell will have to get to grips with, is the government’s promise to build one million new homes over the course of this parliament. The Starter Home Initiative, which is designed to bring below-market value properties within the reach of first-time buyers under the age of 40, is set to play a major part in whether the policy is a success or not.

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