Union urges youth workers to qualify for key worker housing

A trade union is pressing for youth workers to be given
subsidies to buy homes in line with teachers and nurses,
writes Chloe Stothart.

The Community and Youth Workers Union has written to deputy
prime minister John Prescott demanding that youth workers be given
access to key worker housing.

Under the schemes, certain groups of public sector worker get
government loans to put towards buying a home or can buy part of a
home from a housing association and pay rent on the remainder.

Doug Nicholls, general secretary of the union, said a lack of
cheap housing meant youth workers were not moving around the
country to gain valuable experience.

The lack of affordable housing is exacerbating recruitment and
retention problems in the sector. Nicholls said around 4,000 more
youth workers are needed to meet government targets.

The average house price is England at £191,081 according to
ODPM figures for April – nearly 11 times higher than the
average youth worker’s salary of £18,000.

The government said it was reconsidering the categories of
public sector employees eligible for keyworker housing as part of a
shake-up of subsidised home ownership.

The consultation on the changes closed on Friday and initial
findings will be announced to parliament in July.

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