The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is asking Londoners for their views on proposals to give key workers in the capital priority to buy or rent homes below market rates.
The proposed new key worker list includes nurses, police officers, and teachers, and is part of a wider consultation on the role intermediate housing will place in London in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Intermediate housing is defined as affordable housing targeted at people who are unlikely to access homes at social rent levels, but who are not able to afford to buy or rent a suitable home on the open market.
The two types of intermediate homes preferred by Khan are London Shared Ownership and London Living Rent.
Salaries for occupations traditionally defined as ‘key workers’ – including education, healthcare, and emergency services – are often around £25,000-£45,000 in London.
This means many are eligible for shared ownership homes (a household income of up to £90,000 per annum) or intermediate rented homes (a household income of up to £60,000 per annum).
Khan has stated that he wants to understand how best to include key workers in these criteria and wants to hear from Londoners on which occupations they think should be defined in this way.
The consultation will also look at a broad range of other issues relating to intermediate housing, including how affordability can be improved, what more can be done to support delivery of new homes, and how the transparency and consistency of allocation can be improved in the capital.
London “robbed” of expertise
Khan said: “Londoners know how much we value and depend on the hard work of the key workers who keep London running even during a time of crisis.
“Housing costs have driven far too many Londoners away from our great city, robbing us of their skills and expertise.
“Intermediate housing, alongside much-needed homes for social rent, can play a vital role in turning that tide.
“I want 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.
“By helping people buy or rent a home below the market rate we encourage them to put down roots, become part of a community and help London thrive.”
“Our key workers deserve the chance to secure safe, sustainable accommodation that they can afford to live in long-term.
“Whilst we continue to push for the social rented homes London needs, it is vital we also have options for those who struggle to afford private rents or are locked out of the housing market.”
Housing bodies including the National Housing Federation and the Chartered Institute of Housing have launched a campaign calling for a “once-in-a-generation” investment in social housing after the Coronavirus pandemic.