Today, Michael Gove was appointed as secretary of state for Housing, Communities and Local Government, replacing Robert Jenrick.
Jenrick has held the role since July 2019 and succeeded Conservative MP James Brokenshire, who was housing secretary for a year. Before Brokenshire, chancellor Sajid Javid served as housing secretary from July 2016 to April 2018.
Davies said: “Once again, we are to have another new housing secretary, in this case a fourth in as many years. It also means we will have had 20 housing ministers since the turn of the century.
“This carousel of new ministers undoubtedly undermines the need for a long-term housing strategy and the government’s efforts to tackle the chronic undersupply of suitable housing in this country.”
The role of minister of state for housing, the post superior to housing secretary, has also shifted over the years. Currently held by Christopher Pincher since February 2020, he took over from Esther McVey who was in the role for less than a year.
Since 2008, no minister of state for housing has served for longer than two years.
Davies said this was leading to a procession of housing ministers all promising to deliver thousands of new homes a year then leaving the task to their successor after just a few months or years.
“The government must take seriously its commitment to build a better future for coming generations and to do this, we need a coherent and long-term housing strategy,” she added.
Davies also called for an independent body to take control of the housing market.
Davies said: “In the wake of the crisis, now is as good a time as any to put in place an independent housing body, which can take a longer-term view of where we need to be and how we can get there, without being constantly undermined and subjected to party political ping-pong.
“Our system of government inevitably leads to short-term administrations, and even shorter-term tenure by successive ministers. We wish the new minister well in his role – but it’s very difficult to see how he is going to make a real difference, where so many others have failed to do so.”