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I, for one, welcome our new housing minister overlords*


And there we are, we have two (so far) new housing ministers.

But, for once, and as opposed to the 16 (16! Five in the last two years!) between 2010 and 2024, it isn’t because their predecessor was useless/promoted/resigned for unlawfully doing things for mates/resigned to bring down their own PM/was appointed by a very temporary PM/supported the wrong person in yet another leadership contest/etc..

No, we have a whole new government, and one that in its first three days at least, appears to be competent. That beats any post 2015 government for starters.

Angela Rayner is the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

(How long the LUHC departmental name will last is anyone’s guess. I doubt it will be long. But given the new Govt’s commitment to starting work right away, a change of logo and letterhead is probably not on the immediate agenda.)

Matthew Pennycook is the Minister of State for Housing (and we’ll have to see exactly what that covers).

GIven a) Labour’s manifesto commitments (our note), b) Rayner’s clout within the party and government, and c) Matthew Pennycook’s very detailed knowledge of the sector and where we are now, after his incredibly detailed work as shadow minister on the late Renters (Reform) Bill and the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Act (still largely to be brought into force via regulations), this strikes me as a clear recipe for getting things done, and done by knowledgable and capable people.

And that is not something that could be said of the last 14 years…

(Does anyone remember Esther McVey’s 7 month tenure as housing minister? Or Lucy Frazer’s 4 month tenure?)


Giles Peaker is a solicitor and partner in the Housing and Public Law team at Anthony Gold Solicitors in South London. You can find him on Linkedin and on Twitter. Known as NL round these parts.


  1. Dulwich resident

    I would love to see Helen Hayes in the ministerial team. She is an excellent MP and came into Parliament after a career in the housing sector.

  2. witstert

    What I challenge any “Housing Minister” to do is to produce legislation that prevents housing landlords (of all flavours) from charging rents that effectively buy the accommodation for the owner but do neither ever acquire title to the said residences nor receive a percentage of the profit made when the residence is sold. Rent should be more equitable with the use of the property plus cost of remedial works (if the remedial works are caused by the tenant after occupancy) and adjustments to suit the tenant. Deposits should be held in the name of the tenant in an interest bearing account for the sole benefit of the tenant but requiring the approving signature of the lessor or a Judicial Order if disputed by the lessor. Wishful thinking?

  3. Rob Taylor

    As one of over 320 tenants on one chalet park that has suffered a five-fold increase in charges by new (head-lease) landlord because the free holding local council couldn’t manage it properly, in as many years, I seriously wished the Leasehold Reform Act had abolished ours altogether. Since we buy our buildings, just not our land or infrastructure, we should be commonhold, not leasehold, but risk aversion being typical for councils, ours evades the rather obvious option to make ours a site of full permanent occupancy that’s subject to certain minor restrictions. The new government could do this for chalet parks including ours, to upgrade them to residential status, especially since they are the preferred accommodation for the burgeoning population of the elderly, who like us here, cannot afford larger properties any more. By downsizing to chalets, we release capital that can sustain us for longer, but like many, I am now having to downsize my chalet to a smaller one as I can no longer afford the upkeep of a larger one. I am by no means alone. So my message to the new housing ministers is, stop leasehold where folk have to buy their buildings, and let them live their lives out where they can afford to live, thereby releasing more existing housing stock, to reduce the need for new builds where affordable homes like ours are already available. This will reduce all the wasted empty second homes currently blocking further development where it’s unnecessary or not desirable.

  4. AndrewM

    The most important aspect will be supply of housing, the type of tenure hopefully to more assured tenancies and yes tax incentives and of course planning.

  5. Whelk Stall

    “a change of logo and letterhead is probably not on the immediate agenda.”


    The new Labour government is replacing the words “levelling up” with “local government”

  6. RD

    Curiously, despite his tenure as Chair of a Housing Association, Eddie Hughes MP seemed to do nothing to help the sector during his tenure in the office under the last government. So actual knowledge of the subject area of one’s ministry can unfortunately take second place to party loyalty.

    Still, I can hope and expect that Labour have more of a clue when it comes to social housing and housing in general. Building more houses (ideally socially owned and for rent), instead of vanity high-ticket rail lines, would probably be where I would start.


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