James Brokenshire the Latest Housing and Communities Secretary
Monday 30th April 2018

Perhaps an apt name for the latest minister to take up the mantle of, as in the government’s own phrase, ‘Fixing Britain’s Broken Housing Market.’

James has stepped into shoes left vacant as Sajid Javid became Home Secretary.

We can only wish him well as he grapples with the problem of increasing the chronic undersupply of housing in this country. Hopefully he will have some better schemes than when at the Home Office he came up with the not so bright idea of appointing landlords and agents as unpaid immigration officers.

For all of the talk of statics and targets we would love to know how much effect that this bit of bureaucracy and red tap has done to reduce illegal entry to the UK.

James Brokenshire, introduced “right to rent” checks, which forced landlords to investigate their tenants’ immigration status. In 2015, buy-to-let property owners and letting agents were made responsible for checking the immigration status of potential tenants, or face a £3,000 fine.

It formed part of the Government’s attempts to create a “hostile environment” for illegal immigrants, but critics said the changes made landlords and agents “border guards”.

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