Ex-construction minister Mark Prisk has been named as the new housing minister, Number 10 has confirmed.
The 50 year-old MP for Hertford and Stortford, replaces Grant Shapps who was promoted to minister without portfolio, attending cabinet, and Conservative party chairman
The former Shadow Minister for Cornwall and a chartered surveyor, Prisk moves from the Department for Business where his work included the Olympic legacy.
A RIBA spokesperson said:
‘We welcome the appointment of Mark Prisk. As a former construction minister and chartered surveyor, he brings experience and knowledge of the built environment which will prove important in helping to meet the significant challenges that lie ahead.
‘It has been encouraging to see DCLG ministers put an emphasis on the quality of design over recent months, but it is crucial that, with the pressure to build and build quickly, that Ministers avoid the mistakes of the past and ensure that new homes are of a good quality and are built to stand the test of time.’
Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of Home Builders Federation:
‘While he has an unenviable in tray, it is clear that he understands the scale of the job in front of him with his background in the sector.
‘We hope he will offer some radical ideas to transform the current housing and planning systems and tackle the housing crisis, providing economic growth and jobs, and strengthening communities across the country. In his previous role he undertook some positive work to reduce regulation, a commitment his Government has also made with regards to housing and something we hope he will now deliver on.
Isabel Hudson, NHBC’s executive chairman:
‘We look forward to continuing this relationship following the appointment of Mark Prisk as we enter another critical period for the housing sector.
‘The new Minister has a number of challenges across the sector. As our latest new home registrations statistics revealed, although private sector housing registrations in the UK had their best month for over a year this July, registrations in the sector are still down 10 per cent for May to July 2012, compared to the same period last year.’
Cabinet reshuffle: Prisk lands housing minister role