09/01/2018 00:02 GMT | Updated 09/01/2018 07:18 GMT

New Homes Built After NHS Land Sell-Off Too Pricey For Nurses, New Research Finds

Four out of five houses on ex-NHS land too pricey for staff.

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New homes built on ex-NHS land will be unaffordable to nurses, new research finds

The vast majority of homes built on former NHS land sold off by the government will be unaffordable to nurses, damning new research has found.

An analysis of 59 ex-Health Service sites sold by the government since 2010 has revealed that four out of five homes planned for sale will be too expensive for most NHS key workers.

The research, conducted by the New Economics Foundation think tank, also found just one in 10 homes due to be built on the sites will be for social rent.

The situation was worse in London where none of the homes built for sale on former NHS sites will be affordable to nurses, some with prices 18 times their average salary.

The findings assumed an average expected sale price for the new homes, based on area estimates, of £315,279. In the capital, the average expected sale price is £561,589.

Salaries for nurses in the NHS start at just over £15,000 and the median pay for a nurse is around £23,000

The foundation estimated that the shortest time an NHS worker would take to save for a deposit in London was 117 years.

The government said it announced plans last year to give NHS staff first refusal on “affordable” housing schemes built on Health Service land sold for development.

But the research found that on many sites outside of the M25, developers will not offer any new properties described as “affordable”.

The government has an ambition to sell off public land to accommodate at least 160,000 new homes before 2020.

It cites “value for money” for the taxpayer as a key requirement of the plan.

Housing ministers demanded all government departments, including Jeremy Hunt’s Department of Health, free up land for development.

Joe Beswick, Housing Lead at the New Economics Foundation, said: “These local NHS sites are community assets – they should be used to deliver community benefits.

“Public land – which is owned by all of us – is being flogged off to developers so that they can make massive profits, while producing a tiny amount of affordable housing.

“The UK is facing an enormous housing crisis, and the Government is making it worse.”

A Government spokesperson said: “This Government is determined to make sure the housing market works for everyone.

“Since April 2010 there have been more than 357,000 affordable homes provided in England, but we’re aware that more needs to be done, which is why we’re investing over £9bn in affordable housing.

“For NHS staff in particular, we announced plans in October last year to give first refusal on affordable housing schemes built on NHS land sold for development.”