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London’s young workers under ‘extreme housing pressure’

Major sectors of London’s economy could find themselves unable to recruit young people as increasing numbers of workers living in London face ‘extreme housing pressure’.

The new research, commissioned by the business-backed Fifty Thousand Homes campaign and conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, shows that major pain is imminent for the creative, arts and entertainment sectors.

The findings are published as around 50 business leaders have written an open letter to mayoral candidates, calling for swift action by the next mayor. The research received coverage on the front page of the Evening Standard and in City AM.

According to the report, ‘extreme housing pressure’ occurs when workers have to pay 60 per cent or more of their income to rent a studio flat.

If trying to rent an outer London studio (as a 22-29 year old), the following groups will face this pressure at different stages:

  • People working in arts, entertainment and recreation hit extreme housing pressure this year
  • Admin staff will come under extreme housing pressure by 2023, placing pressure on employers across all sectors
  • Nurses in 2024
  • Manufacturing in 2026
  • Teachers in 2027
  • Legal and accounting staff in 2030
  • Advertising staff in 2035
  • Tech City/software coders in 2035

Shop assistants and those working in catering are already living under this extreme housing pressure.

The research also shows that owning your own home is becoming an increasingly distant prospect. By 2025, it will take 20 years to save a 10 per cent deposit for an inner London property, and over 12 years for an outer London property.

According to Will Higham, Campaigns Director of London First (one of the organisations behind the Fifty Thousand Homes campaign):

“These figures should be a wake-up call. Fixing the housing crisis is an urgent priority, and all of the mayoral candidates must plan now to ensure they hit the ground running. If they don’t take urgent action, businesses, hospitals and schools won’t be able to hire the right staff and London will start to lose out to overseas competitors.”

Jo Valentine, Chief Executive of London First, said:

“We want the next mayor to wake up every day and put housing as their top priority. London needs to double its housebuilding to 50,000 new homes a year in order to meet demand – without it, whole sectors of London’s economy will suffer.”

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