Keyworkers in London to get priority housing

Keyworkers will be first to receive new affordable housing in London, with a list of occupations to be used by councils and housing associations to help allocate intermediate housing.

The Mayor of London has also announced that planning guidance will be strengthened to help essential workers secure housing in the capital.

The Mayor has consulted with trade unions, emergency services and local authorities to create the list of occupations that have a direct role in providing services for the city, including the provision of care and education, and roles that support public safety, transportation and utilities.

The new approach aims to prevent Londoners in key worker roles from having to move away from their workplaces and communities due to the cost of housing in the capital.

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Intermediate housing is defined as affordable housing which is 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 2017 Strategic Housing Market Assessment estimated that 11,870 intermediate homes are needed in London each year between 2016 and 2041 to fully meet the needs of Londoners.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: ‘Never has London been more indebted to the dedicated and selfless service of our key workers. They keep us safe, care for us, and provide the essential services without which our capital would grind to a halt.

‘Their heroic efforts during the pandemic have shone a spotlight on the injustice that many key workers still can’t afford to live in our city. Housing costs have driven far too many Londoners away, robbing us of their skills and expertise. Providing more access to Intermediate housing, alongside much-needed homes for social rent, will play a vital role in turning that tide.

‘By helping London’s essential workers buy or rent a home below the market rate we can help them to put down roots and ensure they can become a vital part of the communities they serve.’

In related news, tens of thousands of people are expected to be protected from homelessness thanks to a £316m funding boost announced by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC).

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