Search

Camden affordable homes crisis sparks ‘brain drain’ of teachers and young talent in borough

06:00 10 July 2014

Teacher Elizabeth Lumb and her boyfriend Jack D

Teacher Elizabeth Lumb and her boyfriend Jack D'arc,y a couple who feel they will never to be able to buy a home in Camden due to lack of affordable property. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Teachers and young professionals have warned they are being forced out of Camden as stark new figures reveal there are no affordable homes for sale in the borough – leading to a “brain drain” of young talent.

Over-inflation of the housing market and Camden’s desirability as a prime inner London borough have put ownership of properties beyond the reach of those earning an average wage.

A report by homeless charity Shelter has shown that a single person in Camden earning the average income of £29,000, or a couple with a combined income of £61,000, would be drastically priced out of the borough.

The research has come as no surprise to those living in rental properties who have spoken of the pressure to move out of Camden when the time comes to buy their first home.

Teacher Elizabeth Lumb, who works at Eleanor Palmer Primary School in Tufnell Park, and her boyfriend Jack D’Arcy, 23, who works at a music agency, both earn healthy salaries and have stable careers.

They live in Torriano Avenue but in a few years will have to leave behind the treasured village feel of their community and move out of London altogether to buy their first home.

Miss Lumb, 23, said: “We never considered Camden as a realistic option. For young teachers it’s an almost impossible situation. I looked at prices on our road and for a one-bedroom flat, you’re looking at £500,000.

“As a teacher and someone who starts early and finishes late, I want to live close to the school in which I work.

“It would be such a shame to make Camden a place where only the most wealthy can buy. What we love about Kentish Town and Tufnell Park is that it very much feels like a village.”

James Jones, 37, a TV researcher, tried for four years to get on the property ladder while he was living in Burghley Road, Tufnell Park.

“There’s nowhere in Camden,” he said. “I looked at my budget and the numbers don’t stack up there.”

Shelter’s survey showed there are no one-bedroom homes in Camden for sale at £122,000 or less, the price a single person earning £29,000 could afford.

Likewise, there are no two-bedroom properties for sale valued at £256,000, the budget for a couple with a combined income of £61,000.

Natalie Bennett, national leader of the Green Party and parliamentary candidate for Holborn and St Pancras, has issued a stark warning that young professionals such as teachers and police officers will be “pushed out” of Camden.

“We are making it impossible for anyone to live in the community they work in,” she said. “We need to get away from thinking of housing as a financial asset and start thinking of them as homes.”

A 2008 Camden Council report stated a need for an additional 4,787 affordable homes each year but between 2006 and September 2013 only 1,789 new units of affordable housing were built.

Since 2011, the government has made it harder for local councils to build housing, with Camden’s grant for affordable housing development reduced to 50 per cent of the grant for the previous four-year period.

0 comments

Comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

08:56
Patrick O'Leary

A member of a violent gang that burst into a woman’s home and stabbed her in the face with a screwdriver has been jailed.

40 minutes ago
Author Laura Bates spoke and signed books at Waterstones in Hampstead after the man was asked to leave. Picture: Mark Hakansson

A man waging an anti-feminist campaign was ejected from a feminist writer’s book talk after crashing the event.

Keith Matthews, Oxfam shop manager, who was handed a log book from HMS Drake by a mystery donor.
 Picture: Nigel Sutton

A century-old logbook detailing life aboard the doomed HMS-Drake has been handed into the Kentish Town branch of Oxfam by a mystery donor.

Yesterday, 17:45
Lynne Featherstone accepts her award from Ben Cohen, chief executive and founder of Pink News.

Hornsey and Wood Green MP Lynne Featherstone has been named the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community’s “ally of the year” by Pink News, the biggest gay news service in Britain.

Most read news

These images show the lava’s path from a sky-high vantage point.

Would a prominent calorie label on your booze make you think twice before tanking up?

Looking for a holiday? We know a company that are keen to flog you a trip to the land of Kim Jong-un.

Biffo and Bobo better stay away from the town of Vendargues this Halloween.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition