a result of high property prices in St Albans, employers have found
it hard to both recruit and retain key staff such as teachers, police
officer and NHS staff.
Strategic Housing has been working with the West Herts NHS Trust
and St Albans District Council to address this issue and has provided
some high quality accommodation for more than 100 key workers in
St Albans at rent that is below the normal market price.
what exactly is key worker housing? Who is eligible and how do you
Cardona is the Accommodation Manager for key worker schemes in St
Albans run by London Strategic Housing and she explained exactly
what it was all about.
What do you think of the current housing market?
It's very expensive to buy and to rent, many people with high
flyer jobs London are looking to come and move to St Albans and
I think this in turn keeping the prices rising.
did this particular project for key workers in Lavender Crescent,
St Albans come about?
accommodation is owned by the West Herts NHS trust, and they have
placed it in the hands of London Strategic Housing to manage the
lettings and control of the properties. We are now responsible for
managing the 52 new and 61 refurbished tenancies via a lease with
the NHS Trust.
sort of accommodation is it?
There are 14 new self-contained houses providing shared accommodation
for 52 key workers within three and four bedroom houses. Each tenancy
has a private room with an en-suite bathroom and a shared kitchen.
is this accommodation available for?
The new build accommodation is available for single people who
work directly for the West Herts NHS Trust. But if there are not
enough nominations from these people then the properties will become
available for other key workers within the area.
decides the eligibility of the applicants?
We have a site services manager who is based in Hemel Hempsted,
who is responsible for nominating suitable people for this accommodation.
parties fill in application forms through her and we then take further
action to allocate them any available accommodation that we have.
other housing associations we only deal with rented accommodation
and are not involved with shared ownership properties.
you tell me how you determine what is affordable rent?
We determine our price rates for rent by reviewing the current
market prices. As our organisation is non-profit making, we ensure
our rental rates are below the true market value.
typical bedroom in Lavender Crescent
happens if an NHS worker allocated a property then leaves the profession?
properties are not designed to be a permanent solution to their
housing problem, therefore if they decide to leave their job then
they will no longer be entitled to live in the premises.
other projects does London Strategic Housing operate?
We operate tenancies near our head office in Harrow, which have
been in operation for over two years now. They were unveiled by
London Mayor, Ken Livingstone, as the first Key Worker housing built
by the LSH.
also operate six other sites in Islington and Hackney, as well as
our operations here in Darwin Close in St Albans, which are managed
by us but owned by the District Council.
will the accommodation in Lavender Crescent officially be opened?
properties will be officially opened at the end of July by local
MP Kerry Pollard. At the moment we are still waiting for the official
confirmation as to how many people have been allocated property
here but any shortfall will be available for key workers.
you a nurse, healthcare worker, teacher, train driver, bus driver,
fire fighter, etc? If so, you could be eligible for accomodation
with affordable rent.
the Key Worker eligibility test >>
04-Oct-2004 19:19:53 BST
am hopefully getting a job at the stoke manderville hospital
when i qualify as a midwife in May 2005. I shall be moving from
colchester in essex to aylesbury with 4 children. If I get a
job will I qualify for this scheme?