JAMES BROKENSHIRE will have no shortage of advice as he succeeds Sajid Javid as Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary.
He could begin by studying today’s report produced by the University of York and Joseph Rowntree Foundation. It reveals that it’s not just individuals on low incomes who can’t gain a tentative foothold on the bottom of the property ladder; this also applies to aspirational people in reasonably paid jobs.
And this is Mr Brokenshire’s biggest challenge. If more people are to become homeowners, rather than struggling to pay the bills as they lurch from one rent review to another in accommodation of dubious quality, he needs to preside over the construction of a new era of affordable housing.
This means working with developers, large and small, to ensure they advance schemes that are sensitive to the needs of communities – while also making the positive economic and social case for new homes to those Nimby residents whose natural, and default, instincts are to oppose all new developments.