New Housing Minister must build on Housing White Paper

on 15 June, 2017

The new Housing and Planning Minister, Alok Sharma MP, must focus on implementing the many strong proposals in the Government’s Housing White Paper, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has said in response to his appointment.

Alok Sharma has been appointed as the new Minister of State for Housing and Planning. He assumes the role at a critical juncture for the delivery of the Government’s ambitious target to build 1.5 million homes between 2015 and 2022.

Vital to this will be ensuring that the recommendations within the 2017 Housing White Paper, that aim to diversify the supply of new homes and revitalise the SME house building sector, are delivered in full.

The previous Housing Minister Gavin Barwell deserves credit for his work in pushing forward a wide range of reforms, including those designed to tackle some of the barriers to growth faced by smaller scale builders, and we hope that Mr Sharma can build on this legacy.

The Conservative Party’s manifesto opened up the possibility of local authorities taking a more active role in house building and this suggests that the Government was still open to new and radical approaches to solving the housing crisis.

It would be a shame if such radicalism was now dropped in light of a non-majority Parliament. We look forward to working closely with the new Minister, whose experience in the Treasury should hold him in excellent stead for the challenges ahead.

Brian Berry is Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders

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