Kit Malthouse: Who is the new housing minister?

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

MP Kit Malthouse will be the new housing minister, after Dominic Rabb was announced as the new Brexit secretary earlier today.

Malthouse is the 17th housing minister since 1997 – taking on the new role just seven months after the announcement that Raab would take over from Alok Sharma in January this year.

Formerly Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the DWP, the RLA has already met with Mr Malthouse to discuss Universal Credit.

During these talks he expressed an interest in the impact of the changes to mortgage interest relief on landlords, and the need for a cross-Government approach to the PRS.

Political background

Malthouse was elected a local councillor in Westminster in 1998, representing St George’s ward in the Pimlico area of central London. Following boundary changes, he was re-elected in May 2002 for Warwick ward, also in Pimlico.

He served as Chief Whip of the Conservative Group and Chairman of the Social Services Committee and two years later was elected Deputy Leader of the Council and became Cabinet Member for Finance.

He retired from Westminster City Council at the May 2006 local elections.

In 2008, Malthouse ran for the London Assembly for the West Central seat, representing Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea and Hammersmith & Fulham.

He won with 53% of the vote and was appointed Deputy Mayor for Policing by then-Mayor Boris Johnson two days later.

In October 2008 he was appointed as Vice Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Authority. Malthouse was also a member of the board of the Association of Police Authorities and the London Regional Resilience Forum.

After being re-elected in 2012, Malthouse was appointed as London’s first Deputy Mayor for Business & Enterprise with responsibility for increasing employment among Londoners and leading economic policy at City Hall.

In March 2015, Malthouse stood down as Deputy Mayor in order to run for the parliamentary constituency of North West Hampshire, taking over from long-standing MP and Cabinet member George Young.

In May 2015, he was elected to Parliament with a majority of 23,943 votes and 58.1% of the vote share. He left the London Assembly at the elections in May 2016.

During his time in Parliament, he has been an active campaigner around childrens’ issues and  promoting small business.

He was a member of Treasury Sub-Committee, the Armed Forces Bill Committee, and is an Executive Officer of the Dementia APPG.

In the recent General Election, Malthouse was re-elected with a slightly reduced, but still substantial, majority of 22,679 votes. His vote share however increased to over 62.1% of the electorate.

In January 2018, he was appointed in the reshuffle as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions with responsibility for financial support for housing, including within Universal Credit.

Views on the PRS

Prior to becoming a Minister, Malthouse had made no mention of landlords or Universal Credit (UC) within Parliament.

Since then however, he has become a consistent defender of the policy.

He has said of UC that “the welfare system is, for the first time, providing working people with the opportunity to progress in work and to work more hours so that they can increase their earnings and become financially secure.”

In February 2018, Malthouse said, in the roll-out of UC, that because the Government had “dealt with some of the execution difficulties” he was “pretty confident about our ability to deliver it seamlessly and well.”

In December 2017, debating the Finance Bill, Malthouse spoke in favour of house building as a means of stimulating the housing market.

He stated: “The Government are doing a lot in the Bill to help the housing market and have rightly identified that home ownership has fallen relatively significantly over the last few years.

“They should be commended for the action that they are taking, certainly with regard to young people, but housing is not the only asset class available.

“The solution to the housing market will be a long-term one. We are trying to build as many houses as we possibly can—we need 250,000 to 300,000 houses a year to bridge the demand and supply problem—but that will take some time to do.”

Similarly, debating the Finance Bill in September 2017, Malthouse said that slow capital growth in the UK could be partly attributed to the housing market “in which so much private capital is tied up because we like to own our homes.”

In July 2017, Malthouse said that communities in his constituency had developed neighbourhood plans with “generous housing targets”, but highlighted that “communities are now concerned about the infrastructure investment required to make the housing developments happen.”

About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Magazine and Digital Editor for the NRLA. With 20 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for editing our members' magazine 'Property', producing our articles for our news site, the weekly and monthly bulletins and editorial content for our media partners.

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