Speaking exclusively to 24housing, Sajid Javid has said the appointment of Dominic Raab as his new housing minister is “great news”.
In the recent Cabinet Reshuffle, Javid was given a new title and a newly named department – all without having to change desks.
The Bromsgrove MP has gone from Communities Secretary to Housing Secretary and will now lead the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).
But what has changed is his housing minister, with Alok Sharma heading to the DWP after just seven months in the job.
With Raab and Javid being in the same intake, the Housing Secretary says he is someone he “knows well”.
He told 24housing: “I’ve known Dominic for years and he has demonstrated with every job he has had, that he makes a big difference.
“Within hours of him being appointed he arrived at the Ministry and has already been out on visits and meetings and getting used to his brief.
“I’m going to give him a couple of days before he is up to speed with all the briefings but he won’t lose any time in making a difference.”
There was some kick back over the news of the renamed DCLG to MHCLG that it was purely a name change, with no real meaning.
But Javid is clear that is not the case.
“I think to have a government ministry with housing clearly in its responsibilities is really important to show.
“The key is to demonstrate in every way possible to the Great British public that we absolutely understand there is a big challenge with housing in this country.
“From young people not being able to get on the housing ladder, to families who want to move but can’t, to older people who want to downsize but can’t find the right types of homes.
“It is demonstrating that the government is absolutely on their side and doing everything it conceivably can.”
And he says this is further shown in Homes England, which has now been officially launched.
He said Homes England (which was the Homes and Communities Agency) now has “a lot more firepower compared to its predecessor.
He added: “A demonstration of that is in the recent Budget, where the Chancellor was able to allocate an additional £15bn to homebuilding.
“For example, I have seen how we can use that with infrastructure investment and link roads, looking at a potential new rail station.
“More support as well for small and medium size builders, for example companies like Morris Homes – I think if we are going to build the homes we need, we are going to need a lot more small and medium size builders.”