Sadiq Khan promises Covid hero key workers will get cheaper London homes first

London mayor Sadiq Khan has promised key workers will be given the priority for affordable housing in London.

Proposed changes to planning rules will put NHS staff, police, firefighters, transport workers and teachers first in the queue to buy or rent homes below market rates.

Local boroughs will work with the Mayor, trade unions and emergency services to draw up lists of people in these professions so they can be prioritised for cheaper housing.

The measures are part of the mayor’s efforts to increase the supply of ‘intermediate housing’ in the capital-homes which are affordable to a broader range of people.

Sadiq Khan’s preferred types of intermediate housing for the key workers are London Shared Ownership, where homebuyers by a share of a property rather than a whole place, and London Living Rent, a longer term tenancy arrangement with reduced rates designed to enable people to save to buy a house.

Planning guidance will be strengthened “to enforce the expectation that key workers should be prioritised, with regard to local need” by local authorities and housing providers for new intermediate homes.

The Mayor has said he will also “continue to champion” housing schemes exclusively for local key workers.

Sadiq Khan suggested that the successful adoption of the policy in London could act as an example for ministers to follow and be adopted as a nationwide initiative.

Mr Khan said: “Making it easier for key workers to live in the city they serve with such dedication is the very least they deserve.

“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.

The mayor described key workers as the “lifeblood of our city.”

“We all depend on their hard work every day – to keep us safe, to care for us, and to provide other essential services,” he added.

“Their heroic service during the pandemic has further highlighted the injustice that many key workers still can’t afford to live in the capital.”

My London – Local News