‘Experienced’ Pennycook appointed as Housing Minister

MP for Greenwich and Woolwich, who won a huge majority on Thursday, has been involved in Labour housing policy and parliamentary debates since 2021.

pennycook rayner housing minister

Matthew Pennycook has been confirmed as Labour’s housing minister a day after Angela Rayner was appointed as Housing Secretary and Deputy Leader.

Pennycook won a huge majority in his Greenwich and Woolwich constituency beating his nearest rival by 18,366. He has said on his appointment to minister of state: “It is a real honour to have been appointed Minister of State at the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC).

“Tackling the housing crisis and boosting economic growth is integral to national renewal. Time to get to work.”

Pennycook, in comparison to Angela Rayner, has been far the more involved in housing policy having, most recently, got stuck into the close detail and scrutiny of the Renters (Reform) Bill, including submitting dozens of amendments.

The Bill did not make it through the ‘wash up’ process after Rishi Sunak called the General Election. But it is Pennycook’s more radical approach to the private rented sector that has made some letting agents and landlords nervous.

Two years

Towards the end of the Renters (Reform) Bill’s passage through parliament, he tabled an amendment that would have prevented landlords selling a property for two years after a tenancy had begun. In 2023 he also said he’d want to see RoPA implemented.

But the NRLA recently said that behind the scenes he was more placatory, telling its Chief Executive only a few weeks ago, in response to questions about abolishing Section 21 evictions and improving the time it takes to complete possessions, that: “we all want the court processes to be quicker”.

The property industry may also be relieved that someone who has held the housing brief for some time like Pennycook is at DLUHC, unlike the litany of Tory housing ministers of recent who have arrived in the job openly professing ignorance of the sector. Pennycook’s background has been within the charitable sector prior to becoming an MP.

More DLUHC ministers are expected to be announced including Mike Amesbury who may be given the homelessness brief. Jim McMahon has already been made its regions and devolution minister.

Nathan Emerson, Chief Executive, Propertymark

Nathan Emerson, Chief Executive of Propertymark says: “We welcome the appointment of Matthew Pennycook as Housing Minister within the newly formed cabinet.

“Housing must play a pivotal role for the government moving forwards and in real terms, delivering over 1,100 new homes every single working day for the next five years will take immense planning and enormous stakeholder engagement to achieve.

“There needs to be a long-term cross-party approach with continuity built in as standard – we should never be looking at a housing plan as an insular five year government term, in case of any change down the line.

The housing sector is crying out for a vastly increased supply”

“The housing sector is crying out for a vastly increased supply to keep pace with demand, there simply can be no room for error moving forwards or we may end up with prices artificially rocketing due to consumer desperation in finding a suitable home for their needs.

“There must be a broad mix of sustainably built homes that brings much needed stock to both buyers and renters. The plan must be delivered with precision and in a way that is connected with wider government planning to ensure key infrastructure is provisioned for as the population further grows.”

One Comment

  1. So a tenant who is looking for a short term tenancy and happy to rent a property that is on the market for sale with the guarantee of a minimum 6 month tenancy longer if the sales process is yet to complete, wont be able to rent as the landlord wont be able to sell. We have a number of these tenancies arranged and they work well for both parties. So now lets put a stop to landlords and tenants having the freedom to decide what they want to do and give it up to our new housing minister who clearly knows best for us. Lets be reminded that labour’s ‘landslide’ was a majority less than the majority Jeremy Corbin had when labour lost in the last election. Brilliant!

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