Neither former shadow housing ministers have been given a new role in government so far, and the role of housing minister is notable by its absence from the new cabinet.
Conservative Grant Shapps and Lib Dem Sarah Teather could both be in line for the job, but the only appointment of any significance to the housing sector so far has been that of Eric Pickles as communities secretary.
In the last Labour government, housing was deemed a sufficiently important issue to merit housing minister John Healey a seat at cabinet meetings. But so far there is no sign of this under the new coalition.
A list of senior ministers who attend cabinet meetings alongside the secretaries of state was published last night, and does not list the housing minister.
Pickles will take responsibility for the CLG, which includes housing and planning among other areas. But if, as looks likely, the housing minister is relegated to a junior role, it might be perceived as a blow to the industry, which had high hopes that a new government might treat housing as a priority.
"Deciding exactly where housing should sit will be an interesting challenge for the new government," says Robert Sinclair, director of AIFA. "I don't think the fact that it has not been deemed a cabinet position is in any way sinister. Housing was never that high a priority for the last Government, despite the fact that the minister had a cabinet position.
"But it does fascinate me that the two elements which impact on people's own long-term stability - housing and pensions - each of which have been the responsibility of more than 10 different ministers over the last 13 years, still occupy such a strange space in government."
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