New housing minister named

Posted on Monday, July 8, 2024

Matthew Pennycook has been appointed Labour’s housing minister, after prime minister Keir Starmer finalised his cabinet over the weekend, making a series of government appointments soon after arriving in Downing Street.

Pennycook, the MP for Greenwich and Woolwich, who held a role in Sir Keir’s shadow government, has become a minister in the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, along with Jim McMahon.

Pennycook’s new position in government follows the appointment of Angela Rayner as housing secretary and deputy leader.

He said: “It is a real honour to have been appointed Minister of State at the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC).

“Tackling the housing crisis and boosting economic growth is integral to national renewal. Time to get to work.”

Pennycook in comparison to Rayner has been far the more involved in housing policy having, most recently, got stuck into the close detail and scrutiny of the Renters (Reform) Bill, including submitting dozens of amendments.

Pennycook’s appointment has been welcomed by Propertymark.

The organistaion’s CEO, Nathan Emerson, said: “Housing must play a pivotal role for the government moving forwards and in real terms, delivering over 1,100 new homes every single working day for the next five years will take immense planning and enormous stakeholder engagement to achieve.

“There needs to be a long-term cross-party approach with continuity built in as standard – we should never be looking at a housing plan as an insulator five year government term, in case of any change down the line.

“The housing sector is crying out for a vastly increased supply to keep pace with demand, there simply can be no room for error moving forwards or we may end up with prices artificially rocketing due to consumer desperation in finding a suitable home for their needs.

“There must be a broad mix of sustainably built homes that brings much need stock to both buyers and renters. The plan must be delivered with precision and in a way that is connected with wider government planning to ensure key infrastructure is provisioned for as the population further grows.”

 Via @PropertyIndustryEye