Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC; formerly the Ministry for Housing, Communities, and Local Government)[2] is a ministerial department of the Government of the United Kingdom. It is responsible for housing, communities, and local government in England and the levelling up policy. It was established in May 2006 and is the successor to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, established in 2001. The department shares its headquarters building, at 2 Marsham Street in London, with the Home Office. It was renamed to add Housing to its title, changed to a ministry in January 2018, and later reverted to a government department in the 2021 reshuffle.

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities
Department overview
FormedMay 2008
Jurisdiction2007


Government of the United Kingdom
Headquarters2 Marsham Street, London, England and
i9 Railway Drive, Wolverhampton, England
Annual budget£28.1 billion (current) & £3.5 billion (capital) for 2011–12[1]
Secretary of State responsible
Department executive
Websitegov.uk/dluhc

There are corresponding departments in the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government, and the Northern Ireland Executive, responsible for communities and local government in their respective jurisdictions.

Ministers edit

DLUHC's ministers are as follows, with cabinet ministers in bold:[3]

Minister Portrait Office Portfolio
The Rt Hon. Michael Gove MP   Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Strategic oversight of the Department's business; Cross-cutting responsibility for Levelling Up.
Lee Rowley MP   Minister of State for Housing, Planning and Building Safety Overall housing strategy; Housing delivery and programmes; Affordable homes programme; Homeownership and home buying and selling process; Homes England stewardship; Tackling leasehold and freehold abuses; New Homes Ombudsman and Redress; Planning – casework, reform and design, and building better.
Felicity Buchan MP   Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Housing and Homelessness Asylum - including relevant Houses in multiple occupation (HMO) reform, Special Development Order-planning minister; Afghan resettlement - including Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme and Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy; Ukraine; Hong Kong BNOs; homelessness and rough sleeping; exempt accommodation; Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions policy; The Union and Constitution, and local government engagement in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland; retained EU Law programme; planning casework; legislation: the Holocaust Memorial Bill & the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.
Jacob Young MP   Parliamentary-Under Secretary of State for Levelling Up Local growth funding design and simplification; Local growth funding delivery – UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), Levelling Up Fund (LUF), Community Ownership Fund (COF), etc.; Devolution deals and county deals; Planning casework.[4]
The Rt Hon. Baroness Scott of Bybrook   Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Social Housing and Faith Integration, communities and faith, including Hong Kong British National (Overseas); RED local resilience and emergencies, including winter preparedness; COVID-19 inquiry; Planning casework; Lords work for the department.[5]
Simon Hoare MP   Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Local Government Overarching responsibility for housing strategy, including supply and home ownership; Investment Zones; Housing funds, including Affordable Housing Programme (AHP) and other housing / land and infrastructure funds; Homes England stewardship; Planning – reform and casework; Leasehold and freehold; Corporate matters.[6]
The Rt Hon. Baroness Swineburne   Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Housing and Homelessness Lords commitments; home ownership and homebuying process; HM Land Registry reform/stewardship and land transparency; climate change, Net Zero and energy efficiency; communities and integration; planning casework.[7]

The Permanent Secretary is Sarah Healey who took up her post in February 2023.[8]

History edit

DLUHC was formed in July 2001 as part of the Cabinet Office with the title Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM), headed by the then Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott. In May 2002 the ODPM became a separate department after absorbing the local government and regions portfolios from the defunct Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions. The ODPM was criticised in some quarters for adding little value and the Environmental Audit Committee had reported negatively on the department in the past.[9][10] During the 5 May 2006 reshuffle of Tony Blair's government, it was renamed and Ruth Kelly succeeded David Miliband to become the first Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government at the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). In January 2018, as part of Theresa May's Cabinet reshuffle, the department was renamed the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). In September 2021, Boris Johnson renamed the department yet again, calling it the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), being more powers outside of just England to manage funds across the United Kingdom.[11]

On 20 February 2021, it was announced as part of the government's levelling up policy, that DLUHC would be the first government department to have a headquarters based outside of London. Five hundred posts, including those of senior civil servants, will be moving to Wolverhampton by 2025.[12]

On 23 February 2021, the then Secretary of State, Robert Jenrick, announced he was hopeful that staff would be working in Wolverhampton by the summer of 2021. He also announced that they were considering building a new office development in or around the city centre to house the new headquarters. The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, suggested it should be within walking distance of local newspaper Express & Star, where he previously did work experience.[13]

As DLUHC looks set to relocate some 500 members of staff to Wolverhampton, Robert Jenrick officially opened its new Wolverhampton offices at the recently completed i9 office development on 10 September 2021. At the opening of the new office development the Secretary of State was joined by the leader of City of Wolverhampton Council Ian Brookfield and the West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street.[14]

On 6 July 2022, most of the ministers responsible for the department resigned after the Chris Pincher scandal. The secretary of state, Michael Gove, also left the department on the same day, after being sacked for disloyalty by the prime minister, Boris Johnson.

Michael Gove was reappointed as the secretary of state by the prime minister Rishi Sunak on 25 October 2022.

Secretaries of State edit

Responsibilities edit

The department is responsible for UK Government policy in the following areas, mainly in England:[15]

The Office for Local Government ("Oflog"), established in 2023, is an office within the department responsible for providing "authoritative and accessible data and analysis about the performance of local government, and support[ing] its improvement".[17]

Levelling Up edit

The Levelling Up Taskforce was formed in September 2021 headed by former Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane.[18] The Levelling Up policy was not initially defined in detail,[19] but would include:[20][21]

  • Investing in towns, cities, and rural and coastal areas
  • Giving those areas more control of how investment is made
  • Levelling up skills using apprenticeships and a £3 billion National Skills Fund
  • Helping the farming and fishing industries
  • Creating up to 10 freeports to help deprived communities


Digitising planning edit

DLUHC teams have been actively supporting digitisation of town planning processes as part of the Levelling Up Mission. Under the "Proptech innovation fund", DLUHC has been funding four rounds of digitisation initiatives within various local councils in England.

Bodies sponsored by DLUHC edit

Executive agencies edit

The department also was previously responsible for two other agencies. On 18 July 2011 Ordnance Survey was transferred to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills[22] and on 28 February 2013 the Fire Service College was sold to Capita.[23]

Non-departmental public bodies edit

In January 2007, Ruth Kelly announced proposals to bring together the delivery functions of the Housing Corporation, English Partnerships and parts of the then Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government to form a new unified housing and regeneration agency, the Homes and Communities Agency (renamed Homes England in 2018). Initially announced as Communities England, it became operational in December 2008. This also includes the Academy for Sustainable Communities. The year 2008 was also when the department along with the Local Government Association produced the National Improvement and Efficiency Strategy[24] which led to the creation of nine Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnerships (RIEPs) with devolved funding of £185m to drive sector-led improvement for councils.

Devolution edit

Its main counterparts in the devolved nations of the UK are as follows.

Scotland

Northern Ireland

Wales

  • Welsh Government Department for Local Government and Public Services

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Budget 2011 (PDF). London: HM Treasury. 2011. p. 48. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 April 2011. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
  2. ^ Hansard 22 January 2018 column 19
  3. ^ "Our ministers". Department for Communities and Local Government. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  4. ^ "Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – GOV.UK". Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 25 September 2022.
  5. ^ "Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – GOV.UK". Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 25 September 2022.
  6. ^ "Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – GOV.UK". Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 25 September 2022.
  7. ^ "Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – GOV.UK". Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 2 December 2023.
  8. ^ Smith, Beckie (7 February 2023). "Pocklington to lead new energy department in perm secs reshuffle". Civil Service World. Retrieved 2 June 2023.
  9. ^ "Environmental report slams ODPM over sustainable code". Building.(subscription required)
  10. ^ Knight, Sam (5 May 2006). "Prescott loses his dream home the megadepartment". The Times. London.
  11. ^ Coates, Sam (18 September 2021). "Confirmed: The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will become the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. As we reported was under discussion on Thursday". Twitter. Archived from the original on 18 September 2021. Retrieved 19 September 2021 – via Twitter.
  12. ^ Madeley, Peter. "First government department HQ outside London to be based in Wolverhampton". expressandstar.com.
  13. ^ Madeley, Peter (23 February 2021). "Hundreds of civil servants set to be stationed in new purpose-built office". Express & Star. Retrieved 20 September 2021.
  14. ^ "From Whitehall to Wolverhampton: Government branches out with city move". Express & Star. 10 September 2021. Retrieved 20 September 2021.
  15. ^ "Government ministers and responsibilities". Government of the United Kingdom.
  16. ^ "Resilience in society: infrastructure, communities and businesses". Government of the United Kingdom.
  17. ^   This article incorporates text published under the British Open Government Licence: Office of Local Government, About us, accessed 7 July 2023
  18. ^ Cordon, Gavin (18 September 2021). "Michael Gove heads rebranded 'Department for Levelling Up'". Evening Standard. London. Retrieved 13 October 2021.
  19. ^ "Levelling up". Centre for Cities. 17 June 2021. Retrieved 13 October 2021.
  20. ^ "What is levelling up and how is it going?". BBC News. 11 May 2021. Retrieved 13 October 2021.
  21. ^ "The Levelling Up Agenda". House of Commons Library. UK Parliament. 11 June 2021. CDP 2021/0086. Retrieved 13 October 2021.
  22. ^ "Ordnance Survey becomes part of Department for Business Innovation and Skills". Archived from the original on 20 January 2012. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  23. ^ "Fire Service College sold to Capita". BBC News. 28 February 2013.
  24. ^ "National Improvement and Efficiency Strategy". Archived from the original on 27 January 2008.

External links edit