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Property sale signs are seen outside of a group of newly built houses in west London
Image: Property sale signs are seen outside of a group of newly built houses in west London. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Workers Forced to Quit Jobs by Housing Crisis, CBI study

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Image: Property sale signs are seen outside of a group of newly built houses in west London. REUTERS/Toby Melville

The results of a newly released CBI survey revealed a new trend caused by the London housing crisis.

The survey revealed that people are being forced to leave their places of employment.

Can’t Afford London

Among the CBI survey respondents, over a quarter of the top firms in London said they’d lost employees because those individuals were required to move out of the area.  The former-employees could not afford to remain in London and the immediate surrounding region.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) found that of the 176 top firms in the city that participated in the survey, 28 percent had watched employees go, so they could find a more affordable place to live.  The high cost of housing in London is also making it difficult to draw entry-level staff.

The research showed 66 percent of participants considered housing cost to be a negative influence on the ability to hire new entry-level workers.  That figure has spiked since 2015, when it had been 57 percent.

Despite Higher Salaries

Firms have been trying to keep their London workers on board by offering higher salaries. However, the research showed that 44 percent of the respondents said even despite the higher incomes, workers are still leaving jobs because they can’t afford to live there.

The survey also showed that flexible work becomes increasingly challenging due to the housing crisis, as well.  Thirty six percent of firms said that their workers’ long commute makes flexible work more challenging to offer.

“This survey speaks loud and clear – London’s housing shortage is a ticking time bomb,” said London Director at CBI, Eddie Curzon.

Will the Mayor Solve the Housing Crisis?

He also stated that CBI stands behind London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s goal to boost the city’s new housing rate.  Khan is aiming to add 65,000 new homes per year to the London area.  Part of this effort involves easing the planning restrictions. That said, the CBI also pointed out that the delivery plan remains too vague, and that “clarity” is necessary.

Among the survey respondents, two out of every three stated that they predicted the London housing crisis to worsen over the next three years.  They said this would be particularly true for the working population, regardless of the building strategies and commitments being made.

Another 53 percent said it was time for Mayor Khan to think about turning some of London’s historic “green belt” into additional housing space.

Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of Alvexo on the matter.

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