What does Rishi Sunak’s reshuffle mean for housing?

15 November 2023

On Monday, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak carried out a reshuffle of his cabinet. The reshuffle sees changes for housing, including changes to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC).

The biggest change for housing was at DLUHC, where the Prime Minister’s reshuffle saw Rachel Maclean sacked as Housing Minister. Maclean was also acting as the Minister on the Renters (Reform) Bill Committee, which sat for the first time yesterday morning.

After holding the position since February 2023, Rachel Maclean will be succeeded by Lee Rowley, formerly the parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Local Government and Building Safety. In his previous role, Lee Rowley has worked collaboratively with the NHF and the social housing sector on issues of building safety, taking part in roundtable discussions on decarbonisation and innovation.

The reshuffle means Rowley will be the 16th Housing Minister in 10 years, and we look forward to welcoming him to the role. Our Public Affairs team at the NHF will be writing to Mr Rowley’s team this week on behalf of us and our members to welcome him to his role. We are looking forward to positively engaging with the new Housing Minister and continuing to build on strong relationships with his team at DLUHC. 

Simon Hoare became Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. Mr Hoare confirmed that he will be taking on the brief as the new Local Government Minister. The former Local Government Minister was Lee Rowley, who also held the building safety brief. It is not yet clear who will cover that part of the portfolio within DLUHC.

Within the Department of Health and Social Care, Victoria Atkins has been made the new Health Secretary, with Steve Barclay moving on to the role of Environment Secretary, replacing Therese Coffey. We are looking forward to engaging with Atkins in her new role, and working with her department on care, health and housing.

Laura Trott, previously a minister in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been made Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Trott takes over this key role from John Glen, just a week before the chancellor delivers the Autumn Statement.

Elsewhere in the cabinet, Home Secretary Suella Braverman was sacked from her role, after being appointed by Liz Truss in September 2022 and Rishi Sunak after he came to office. Braverman has now been replaced by James Cleverly, formerly Home Secretary. Mr Cleverly is replaced as Foreign Secretary by David Cameron, former Prime Minister, who will be appointed a Peer to enable him to return to frontbench politics.