Latest statistics are claiming a huge lack of skilled key workers in the major cities of the country, first London, caused by unaffordable prices for accommodation.

Since 2010 the housing market has seen a continuous increase of rent, also with peaks of 10%. London is the clearest example, with a average home cost of £526,000 that is 16 times the average salary in the City around £33,000 a year in 2016. Moreover, 22 of the highest 30 rent to salary ratios are always in the capital, with the two opposites of Westminster (78.3%) and Bexley (40.4%). This caused a reduction in owner occupation while the proportion of households privately renting is increasing. The rise of accommodation prices are forcing a lot of key workers to move away from their cities, because, also if their wages and salary had grown a bit in the last decade, people’s purchasing power had not proportionally to the living cost.

The local government is trying to find a solution, providing funds for housing discounts and facilities for shared ownership homes, allowing key workers to afford accommodation near their workplace. A survey of 1,200 NUT (National Union of Teachers) members in London, aged between 25 and 35, has found that almost 60% were planning to leave the city within five years. The council’s of London should supply between 50,000 and 80,000 new homes a year, even if they were able to give only 30,000 dwellings in the 2015.

This affects the key worker’s life and work efficiency, with a direct impact on the quality of public services.  Key workers usually have to be in their work place very early, with no possibility to be in late (like nurses and transport supervisors), with long shifts that could last 10 hours. With travel time from home to work this period can further increase, causing elevated rates of stress and illness between them. This directly affect public services efficiency, with lack of personnel between police officers, firefighters and in hospitals, delays in transportations and disruptions in public services.

Ad Hoc Properties can give these people a solution to their problem, with a wide range of empty properties across the country waiting to be occupied. They can become Property Guardians living in these spaces saving money for the future. Properties’ owners are searching for someone who temporarily takes up these sites while disused. In this way, thieves and homeless people are discouraged from occupying or vandalising these spaces and owners can save a large proportion of rates, while key workers are able to afford accommodation near their workplace.