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Nurses and Midwives priced out of new homes built on NHS land

9 Jan 2018

A report released today by The New Economics Foundation (NEF) found that not a single home built on NHS land after being sold to private developers is affordable for nurses in London

According to the NEF report “the sale of NHS land is fundamentally failing to produce the affordable homes we need, and is in fact exacerbating the deep affordability crisis across the UK”.  

After analysing 59 sites across the UK sold by the NHS as part of the Government’s public land sale programme, the NEF found that: 

  • In London 82% of the planned homes will be built for market sale. None of these are affordable to NHS key workers on average salaries
  • The average price of market-rate housing across the London areas where the developments are being built is £561,589 -  18 times the annual salary of a nurse 
  • The shortest time it would take an NHS key worker to save for a deposit is 117 years 
  • In one development in St John’s Wood, a community mental health unit has been sold, where three five-storey town houses are now being built on a street where a four-storey property is estimated to be worth £3.75 million - 121 times the annual salary of a nurse

 In 2016, RCN London revealed the scale of the problems being caused by the lack of affordable housing in its ‘Better Homes for Nurses’ report. 

 RCN London Regional Director Bernell Bussue, said: 

‘This report is a damning indictment of not only the greed of private developers but also an abject failure of government housing policy.  NHS land, which is owned by and there to serve the public, is being bought by profit-hungry developers and sold off as luxury flats and apartments, out of the reach of normal people. Worse still, government and NHS trusts are allowing them to do it. These new properties built on NHS land have an average sell-price of half a million - it would take a nurse 117 years to save for a deposit. This is scandalous. 

‘The lack of affordable housing is forcing more and more nurses out of London, pushing them into debt and helping to drive a recruitment and retention crisis in the capital’s hospitals. Almost 50% of our members say they will leave the city in the next five years because of the cost of housing. Selling of vital NHS land and ignoring the needs of health service workers is only making this situation worse. 

‘The government, NHS trusts and the Mayor of London must now stop developers taking advantage of vital public land, which belongs to all of us, and ensure that the provision of affordable housing becomes a true priority.'