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Public workers barred from owning homes across the UK

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13/04/2007

Public sector workers like nurses, police, firefighters and teachers cannot afford to buy their own home in 70% of towns throughout the UK, according to Halifax, the country’s biggest mortgage lender.

It said that property was most unaffordable in London and the South East, but that prices were now rocketing out of reach for many in the public sector in many other parts of the country not normally associated with high housing costs.

Of 517 towns and local authorities surveyed by Halifax, 363 (70%) were identified as unaffordable for key workers on standard salary grades for their occupations.

Halifax said that a town was deemed unaffordable if the average price of a house was more than 4.46 times the average wage of the workers, which is also the average income multiple for a first-time buyer.

Housing minister, Yvette Cooper, said: “No Government has done more to help key workers; since 1997 almost 25,000 key workers have got their first step on the property ladder through Government shared equity and shared ownership schemes.”

Anne Mitchell of trade union Unison said: “Health workers are effectively being given a pay cut and the idea that they can get on the property ladder is a non-starter for many.

“There is a real shortage of accommodation, both to rent and to buy, as hospital trusts have sold off a lot of on-site nurses’ property.”

 

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