CIH sets to work with new ministerial team
CIH looks forward to working closely with the newly appointed Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles and the Minister for Housing, Grant Shapps.
Sarah Webb, CIH Chief Executive, said: "It's great to hear about both the appointment of Eric Pickles as Secretary of State and Grant Shapps as the new Minister for Housing. Mr Pickles has considerable experience around local government and CIH has had positive and strong dialogue with Mr Shapps over the last three years while he was shadow housing minister. We look forward to working with both of these key appointments in what is a challenging time for the economy and housing markets."
She continued: "In the coming months much of the focus will be on the emergency budget, comprehensive spending review and any legislation set out in the Queen's Speech. We would urge both the Secretary of State and Housing Minister be bold in their ambitions for the housing portfolio. At a time of public spending cuts we must be clear about the links between housing supply and economic recovery. Equally, we must be open to new ideas both in terms of how we supply new housing and how we make better use of our existing homes.
"With a coalition government in place we are of course aware that the details of housing priorities still need to be agreed between the coalition partners. There are, however, clear areas of agreement around greater local responsibilities which I am sure will form the basis of new approaches and thinking. We look forward to working with the CLG ministerial team so that the frontline experience of the sector can help support these local government and housing changes.
"CIH also recognises the importance of appointments beyond the CLG team, notably, Iain Duncan Smith's appointment to head up the Department for Work and Pensions. Iain spoke at this year's CIH Presidential Dinner and it is clear that welfare and benefit reform, including housing benefit, will be a key ambition for the new government."
Sarah Webb concluded: "Over the past six months the House Proud campaign has stressed the importance of housing to our economy and communities, and next month at Harrogate I look forward to presenting the new Minister with the Housing PACT - our sector's offer and ask as we look to play our part in securing a sustainable economic recovery."