New Housing Minister – Rachel Maclean

Rachel Maclean has been confirmed as the new Housing Minister. This was due to Lucy Frazer being promoted during Rishi Sunaks department shake-up on February 7. Maclean becomes the sixth Housing Minister in 12 months. First elected in 2017 for the Redditch Constituency, Maclean is seen as a steady and uncontroversial figure.

Maclean will be lending a hand to Secretary of State Micheal Gove, who published a consultation into the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill last December.

Being Minister for Housing is starting to appear like a right of passage. Many senior ministers have held the title including Grant Shapps, Dominic Raab and Alok Sharma. There are also rising stars that have recently held the title including Lucy Frazer and Stuart Andrew. This may, however, simply be a coincidence considering the number of Housing Ministers there have been in recent times.

All of this, however, is also of little comfort to those who are looking for stability in housing policy. With new ministers come delays and changes. Perhaps the steady and uncontroversial Maclean will bring the essential calmness needed for the current housing policy.



Before entering Parliament, Maclean had worked for HSBC – through their fast- track management scheme – and had set up a publishing firm along with her husband called Packt publishing. This has now become the UK’s largest IT and software content publisher with a turnover of over £18.4m as of 2018.

Maclean also founded a charity called ‘Skilled and Ready’ which works with schools to help young people develop skills that are sought after by businesses.

Maclean has had a run at several junior ministerial positions, including undersecretary for Transport, Under-Secretary for Safeguarding and Minister of State for Victims and Vulnerability. Prior to being Minister for Housing, Maclean had been a vice-chair of the Conservative Party since November.


Agitation from the Private Sector

There is a great deal of frustration being directed at the government because of just how many housing ministers there have been in such a short period. With major changes expected to the NFFP, alongside an ever-growing need for new developments during this housing crisis, it is little surprise that a lot of senior figures in the sector are somewhat reluctant to engage with Maclean.

Chief Executive of the RTPI stated that like many others, we are concerned that the high turnover of Ministers in such a fundamentally important role, to deliver the homes the nation so desperately needs, risks undermining the urgency of the situation, and does not tally with the recognition by the Government in its Levelling Up White Paper for a strong planning system.

Hopefully, given both the backlash of the response to yet another Housing Minister, along with Maclean’s steady track record, she will be in the job a lot longer than her predecessors.

Department of Levelling up and Regeneration

A lot is happening in the department around housing policy. The levelling up and regeneration bill is currently in committee stage in the House of Lords where it appears more amendments are being made. There was also a debate in the Commons about prioritising housing development on brownfield sites which Chelgate has written about here.