Government plans to give key workers 30 per cent discounts on their first homes must be balanced with a council housing strategy that recognises the role of affordable rents in tackling the housing crisis, Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Friday 7 February). 

House buyers from eligible professions, such as nurses, police officers and those in the military, could save around £100,000 on their first property, according to plans put out for consultation by the government.

Property developers would participate in the scheme by applying for Section 106 local authority planning agreements, which are also frequently used to develop social housing for affordable rents.

Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said: “Many people want to get a foot on the housing ladder and these plans could help those in eligible professions to do so. The root cause of the housing crisis is a lack of affordable homes to buy or rent, which is made worse by flatlining wages. 

“Many areas, especially in places like London, Bristol and Oxford, are being hollowed out not just of professionals like nurses and police officers, but other workers, such as hospital and school cleaners, care workers and many others, who are also integral to keeping our public services running.  

“It is right that the property market is made more accessible to working people, but if the government is to create a sustainable housing strategy it must also invest in public housing, hold speculators to account and give more freedom to local councils.”


For more information please contact Unite communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215.


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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.