Housing related responsibilities split between two junior ministers
Despite confirmation Kris Hopkins was given the housing brief in this week’s reshuffle, the Communities and Local Government department website says housing responsibilities are to be shared with Stephen Williams, MP for Bristol West.
Mr Hopkins’, MP for Keighley, responsibilities are listed as housing, local growth, cities and regeneration and planning policy and casework in relation to wind farms. He is also responsible for Thames Gateway and troubled families (supporting the secretary of state).
Mr Williams’ responsibilities include building regulations and standards, empty homes and climate change and sustainable development as well as integration and race equality and localism, decentralisation and community rights.
David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said of Mr Hopkins’ appointment: ‘We welcome the appointment of Kris Hopkins as housing minister. As somebody who has been involved with and understands housing and housing associations, he can make a real difference and help deliver the homes we desperately need. We look forward to working closely with him to put housing on top of the political agenda.
‘However, we’re surprised and disappointed that, given the scale of the housing crisis and how crucial housing is to the country’s long-term economic recovery, the government has decided that the housing brief should be taken up at an under-secretary of state rather than minister of state level.’
The third appointment to the department, Baronness Stowell of Beeston’s responsibilities are listed as departmental business in the House of Lords, productivity, procurement and value for money, European Regional Development Fund, transparency and QEII Conference Centre.