London’s mayor proposes key workers get priority for cheaper housing

NHS workers in London Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The Royal College of Nursing said nurses were being priced out of London

Key workers should get priority access to cheaper housing in the capital, London’s mayor has suggested.

Under the proposals, workers such as nurses, police officers and teachers would be given priority for shared ownership homes and property offered at the London Living Rent.

Sadiq Khan said key workers “keep London running” but “housing costs have driven far too many Londoners away”.

The Conservatives called the plans “another PR distraction” by the mayor.

The idea is part of a wider consultation looking at “intermediate housing” for people who are unlikely to get homes at social rent levels, but cannot afford to buy or rent them on the open market.

The survey looks at who should be prioritised for such housing and which key worker occupations could be considered in the different boroughs.

It also looks at how the affordability of intermediate housing could be improved in the city.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption The consultation into London’s intermediate housing has been launched by Sadiq Khan

Mr Khan said he wanted to “hear from Londoners and our partners about how I can best support London’s key workers to be able to access a safe and secure home that they can afford”.

Lisa Elliott, the Royal College of Nursing’s regional director for London, welcomed the idea, saying “London’s nursing community is being left behind” as “pay has not kept pace with the cost of living”.

However, Andrew Boff AM, housing spokesman for the Greater London Authority Conservatives, described the plans as “yet another PR distraction from Sadiq Khan to hide his failure to build the homes he promised Londoners”.

“If Khan wants to help London’s Covid heroes put down roots in our city, he urgently needs to review his housing policies which are failing to deliver homes fit for families,” he said.

The consultation will run until 11 October.