Monday, May 22, 2006
Empty Key Worker Homes
With news that half of all key worker homes were lying empty Inside Housing is reporting that the government has responded and effectively axed the Key Worker Living Programme. Although it will live on in name, all new properties built under the scheme over the next two years will be available for anybody on council housing waiting lists to buy, not just people fitting the key worker criteria. Thus we are perhaps seeing the end of the rather sorry story we reported last month here. Key Worker Living and its predecessors were a worthy attempt to find a solution to the affordability gap which has opened up in house prices for public sector workers. Unfortunately it missed two crucial points, firstly it wasn't only certain designated "key" workers who couldn't afford house prices, it was most of the population who didn't either already own a home or were on a very good income. And secondly people don't want to be labelled and stuck in a ghetto. The result of the scheme was a large number of new homes were built many of which proved to be very hard to sell and were left empty.