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Calls for mayor to widen affordable London housing to all key workers

Pledges by the new mayor of London to look into improving provision of affordable homes for NHS workers should be expanded to other emergency service workers, a London Assembly member has said.

Sian Berry, the Green candidate for mayor at the last election and the councillor for Highgate, submitted a written question to Sadiq Khan a week ago asking if he would “act as an intermediary to secure, commission or build homes specifically for rent to emergency service workers”.

Khan said: “I want to build more homes that Londoners on low and middle incomes can afford to rent, including for those who work in the emergency services.”

He said that his team would discuss with the NHS whether a proportion of homes on NHS land can be reserved for health service workers.

Berry welcomed the “common sense” idea of providing homes on NHS land, but added: “More and more of our public and emergency service workers are being forced outside of London by rising living costs and the mayor must make this a wider priority for his new housing policies.

"He must go further and not restrict this initiative to the NHS, but include police, fire service workers, teachers and other essential staff.”

A recent report from the London Chamber of Commerce, ‘Living on the Edge’, found that 30% of paramedics, 53% of firefighters and 56% of police officers have to live outside London because of the high cost of renting homes in the capital.

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