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Majority Of Homes Built On NHS Land ‘Unaffordable’ For Nurses
New research has revealed that NHS land is currently being sold to private developers, but four out of five of the homes intended for sale will be unaffordable for nurses – and just one in ten will be for genuinely affordable social rent.
The study, carried out by the New Economics Foundation, has found that the government’s plan to sell NHS land isn’t producing the affordable homes required and instead is actually making the affordability crisis around the country worse.
In some instances, the developers who make profits from the sale of public land are even able to avoid affordable housing requirements entirely. For example, Holton Homes in Dorset isn’t building any affordable homes where a former residential care home once stood and won’t be making any financial contribution towards affordable housing.
And Keep Moat in Stoke-on-Trent is building 201 properties on the site of Bucknall Hospital, but none of these will be classed as affordable. However, the company is contributing money towards affordable housing – to the tune of £209,000.
Housing lead at the Foundation Joe Beswick commented on the findings, saying: “Every day, people are finding it harder and harder to find a decent, affordable place to live. Surplus public land could be used to start to solve this problem. Instead developers are earning record profits and paying CEOs £100 million plus bonuses on the back of luxury properties built on NHS land.
“By selling off public land to the highest bidder, the government is missing a chance to start solving the housing crisis. Surplus public land should be put into a People’s Land Bank – a national stock of land that earmarked for genuinely affordable housing. The Government should stop using national assets to line the pockets of developers, and instead put public land to public use.”
The NHS sites being sold under the government’s public land sale scheme include community health centres, hospitals and other health service infrastructure identified by the NHS as surplus.
The average expected sale price for the new homes, based on area estimates, is £313,279 – which is ten times the annual salary of a nurse. In London, meanwhile, the average price for one of these properties is £561,589 – or 18 times the yearly salary a nurse enjoys.
Across all sites in the capital, no homes put up for sale will be affordable to key workers in the NHS, including midwives and nurses. Even if this demographic were able to afford repayments, the shortest time it would take one of them to save for a deposit in London is 117 years, the report went on to reveal.
Back in December, housing lead for the Foundation Alice Martin wrote in the Guardian that although Theresa May’s government stresses that the large-scale selling of public land to private sector companies will boost the supply of homes, Foundation research shows that this policy isn’t coming through on the quick fix promise made to solve the housing crisis.
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