Homes built on former NHS land ‘not affordable’

10 Jan 18

Just one in ten new homes built on land sold by the NHS are being sold at a “genuinely affordable” price, according to the New Economics Foundation.

A report by the think-tank, released yesterday, examined 59 NHS sites that have been sold so far under the government’s public land sale programme.

It found that four out of five planned homes for sale will be unaffordable to a nurse on an average salary.

The average expected sale price is £315,279, roughly 10 times the annual salary of a nurse.

The situation is worse in London, where NEF found no homes for sale on former NHS land would be affordable to NHS key workers, including nurses and midwives.

NEF called for the creation of a ‘people’s land bank’, a ring-fenced national stock of publicly-owned land earmarked for genuinely affordable housing.

Joe Beswick, NEF housing lead, 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.”

In December 2016, the Department for Communities and Local Government launched a public land disposal programme, with the aim to sell off enough government-owned land to build at least 160,000 homes by the end of March 2020.

A report by Sir Robert Naylor concluded the NHS could release £2bn through asset sales, rising to more than £5bn in the long term.

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