Socialist Worker

NHS workers ordered to leave their homes

by Patrick Ward
Issue No. 2287

Hundreds of low paid NHS workers at Guy’s and St Thomas’s trust in London have been told to leave their subsidised accommodation with just three months’ notice.

The trust accommodation office sent a letter to residents earlier this month informing them of its plans to sell off the housing.

The accommodation currently has 800 places for NHS workers, but this number is expected to be cut by around half.

The trust is also imposing a two-year limit on how long people can live in the accommodation. Those remaining will be charged rent at market rates.

This spells disaster for many of the low paid residents living in the homes. Some have been there for up to 20 years.

Sally, an NHS admin worker, is one resident who has received the notice to move out. She doesn’t know what she’ll do next.

“There’s not much out there I can afford,” she told Socialist Worker. “And three months’ notice is nothing.”

Sally works on a six-month rolling contract, with the rent taken directly from her salary.

She has been on the council house waiting list for over a year, but was told it was unlikely she would be allocated anywhere.

“I’ve lived in Lambeth and Southwark for 20 years and I’ve never wanted anything back,” she said. “I’ve never been able to afford getting onto the property ladder. I just want some kind of security.”

The average monthly rent for a one bedroom property in the area is £1,556. Market rents will force many NHS workers to move far from their workplace, increasing their travel costs.

Sally’s name has been changed

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Article information

Tue 24 Jan 2012, 18:08 GMT
Issue No. 2287
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