His appointment comes as Sajid Javid becomes home secretary, replacing Amber Rudd who resigned last night.
Brokenshire, MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup, stepped down as Northern Ireland secretary in January for health reasons, but now returns to the cabinet.
He takes the lead role at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government at a critical time, as the Government is being forecast to miss its house building pledge to build a million new homes by 2020 by over 80,000 homes, assuming even most recent high building rates are maintained.
Mark Farmer, chief executive of Cast, said: “Once again, an unplanned cabinet reshuffle is going to potentially leave the housing industry without strong and contiguous political leadership at a crucial time.
“As an industry, we can only hope that the creation of MHCLG really was an indication that housing has been pushed higher up the agenda and that the new Secretary of State is able to pick up his new brief quickly, is prepared to learn, listen and engage the housing industry as we face a deteriorating skills crisis, growing concerns around new-build quality and multiple government initiatives in play looking at intervening to fix the broken housing market.”
Johnny Caddick, Managing Director at Moda, said: “The housing crisis is not going to solve itself, it will take strong leadership from the Government and a consistent approach to oversee the changes needed to build a home for everyone.
“The lack of ministerial continuity should worry the entire sector, so we hope that James Brokenshire can buck the trend of past ministers and provide stability to the government’s housing approach and see through the much needed reforms.”
He added: “Sajid Javid oversaw the biggest policy shift towards the rental sector we have ever seen.
“James Brokenshire must also focus on making renting aspirational, and Moda is delighted to support that effort with a promise of family friendly tenancies, quality homes and a level of management and service that people deserve.”