Headlines: April 30th, 2002

The National Housing Federation has pointed out a lack of joined up thinking in the budget.It points out that an NHS strengthened in numbers by increased funding,will not happen unless similar money is invested in housing for those new recruits.

Using statistics from the Land Registery on property prices and from the Department of Health on salaries, it points out that buying a house is out of the reach of many hospital staff not just in the South East, but in many areas.

It says the average house price in England and Wales is 118,877 pounds, which to buy with a 95 per cent mortgage, based on three times salary, a hospital worker would need to earn £35,661.

It points out that outside London, only the top grade of nurse would qualify for a mortgage. In most areas of inner London only the modern matron among nursing staff would be able to buy a house.

In North Lincolnshire where the average house price is £64,830 a health service worker would need an income of £20,530 to qualify for a mortgage, which puts buying a house beyond the reach of many NHS staff, including ambulance staff, most health visitors, ancillary staff and clerical workers.

The National Housing Federation says the starter homes initiative set up by the Government to try to get essential public sector workers on the housing ladder is unable to cope with demand.

The organisation, which represents around 1400 not for profit, independent social landlords – commonly known as housing associations – is calling for a package of housing initiatives if the NHS is to really become an attractive and valued career option.

Link: www.housing.org.uk