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26 October 2022
New prime minister Rishi Sunak picked Mr. Gove for the job of secretary of state for the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities this afternoon as part of his cabinet reshuffle.
The appointment is a return for Mr. Gove, who spent 10 months in the role between September last year and July this year. He was eventually sacked by the prime minister at the time Boris Johnson, just days before the PM announced his own resignation.
During his time as housing secretary, Mr. Gove made progress on a number of key housing issues affecting the sector and residents.
He was able to break the impasse on the building safety crisis earlier this year when he struck an agreement with the developers that would see them fix fire safety defects on many of the buildings that they constructed.
He also brought in a number of amendments to the Building Safety Bill, which would put in place legislation to protect leaseholders from eye-watering fire safety remediation bills.
The Social Housing Regulation Bill was put before parliament under Mr Gove’s watch, while the Renters Reform Bill was also published during his time as housing secretary. The white paper importantly included a plan to scrap ‘no-fault’ evictions.
It was also a tenure that unpicked many of the policies his predecessor Robert Jenrick put in place.
This was evident when he reviewed the plans put forward in Mr. Jenrick’s Planning White Paper, and then subsequently dropped many of them.
On new homes, the housing secretary famously said that he did not want the 300,000-homes-a-year figure to be a “Procrustean bed” and called for the focus to be on quality rather than just numbers.