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Letter: Key workers are treated in a shocking way

Esther Pohl says many nurses are forced to live in unsuitable housing

I have just read your editorial on the housing crisis and I couldn’t agree more. Key workers are treated in an absolutely shocking manner when it comes to so-called “affordable “housing”.

I work in Oxford and live in key worker accommodation – it’s my only option at the moment as renting here (and the cost of living!)  is very expensive.

We pay close to £600 a month for a room, and still need to share a kitchen and a bathroom between four people. This is – to put it mildly – cramped and rather vexing.

Our housing association couldn’t care less about tenants’ needs and wishes. We frequently have “essential” building work undertaken when we’re trying to sleep after night shifts, broken appliances don’t get fixed until weeks later, and in December last year, our housing association “accidentally” cancelled their contract with their internet provider. As a result, we have had no internet for eight months, and had to come up with our own solutions, which have cost some of us an extra £150 a month.

Patients and colleagues not living in key worker accommodation are frequently shocked when I describe my living situation, and we all agree that essential staff deserve better. We’re working so very hard for our trusts – why is it so difficult to receive affordable and acceptable accommodation in return?

Sorry about the rant - your article just really put in writing what I’m feeling at the moment!


Esther Pohl

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