Our New Housing Secretary and The Immediate Challenges He Faces

James Brokenshire has returned to the cabinet, being appointed Housing Secretary in Parliament this week.

Brokenshire replaces Sajid Javid, who has been promoted to Home Secretary after the stepping down of Amber Rudd, as the fourth secretary of state to be responsible for housing in the last three years having resigned from his government role back in January so that he could receive treatment to remove a tumour on his lung.

James later tweeted he is “looking forward to taking the government’s agenda forward, especially on building the homes our country needs.”

As the country is all too aware, the housing crisis needs strong government leadership and the quick turn around of Housing Secretaries is worrying. Over the past few years there have been several policies introduced to support home purchasers including help for first time buyers, those who are homeless and the growing elderly population who require homes designed to their needs.

The country has hit a national emergency when it comes to housing. Huffington post recently wrote; “More than 300,000 people are homeless: rough sleeping is at an all-time high, and the number of families in temporary accommodation has risen by 65% in the last seven years. The number of private renters has exploded, while home-ownership has plunged for the under 35s. Millions of families are now trapped in a debilitating cycle of short-term tenancies, with an average 40% of their income going on rent, impoverishing every other aspect of their lives.”

James Brokenshire has a lot on his agenda which will need to include a flawless housebuilding system to deliver affordable and high-quality homes that the country so desperately needs. In order to get more people on the property ladder, lowering the cost of rent needs to be considered to enable people to save up for the future.