The vital contribution that key workers make to our society, living and working in the same city should, at the very least, be a viable option. Our vision is to see a city of equal opportunity, where key workers are not priced out of a city, and local areas can flourish, regardless of post code. With an overwhelming number of vacant properties in London, we want to collaborate with our clients to help solve this crisis for our key workers.
Our LOWEkey initiative aims to do just this, a dedicated programme which provides affordable accommodation to London’s key workers. Through LOWEkey, we always endeavour to prioritise key workers when taking on new properties, to provide them with an affordable rental solution, close to their place of work. Affordable living through guardianship schemes can be a great solution for thousands of key workers in London, providing a stable and sustainable solution in the short term, whilst protecting public workers in our society.
The solution is mutually beneficial; a well-run guardian scheme that provides key workers with an affordable living solution close to their work, whilst providing landlords with a cost-effective solution to managing their vacant buildings.
Our LOWEkey programme prioritises accommodation to key workers, to ensure that those who give so much to society can live affordably close to where they work. With each LOWE property, the steps we follow to ensure key workers are given priority are:
Step 1: LOWEkey Network
We initially contact the key workers who are already part of the LOWE network, in particular new applicants, to make them aware of the availability within the property. This means they have already gone through our vetting process, ensuring they are the most socially responsible guardians.
Step 2: Local Key Workers
We directly contact schools, hospitals, charities etc. within the local borough to make them aware of the guardianship opportunity, and where necessary, we work with our clients to identify key contacts within these institutions to build up relationships and promote the opportunity to their databases. At the same time, we contact NHS representatives whose buildings LOWE already manage, and promote the opportunity to their key worker database.
Step 3: Targeted Advertising
Where applicable, we schedule targeted advertising posts on social media platforms as well as key worker social media groups, to promote the offer of affordable accommodation within the property.
Step 4: Exclusive Priority on Viewings
The first week of viewings is offered exclusively to key workers so they have first choice on the property. After the first week, we roll out the viewings to the entire database of fully vetted, socially responsible LOWE Guardians.
Step 5: Going Forward
When rooms become available within a property, we will endeavour to maintain the level of key workers at that property. Our guardian lettings team are always flexible with viewings for key workers, prioritising viewings around their schedules as much as possible. We will always choose a key worker to fill a vacancy as a priority over other applicants, wherever possible.
Our dedicated Services Manager heads up the guardian application and vetting process, ensuring that only the highest calibre of applicants are successful, including interviewing new guardian applicants and approving all documentation provided by guardians before being accepted as a LOWE Guardian. Our Services Manager also builds and maintains relationships with key hospitals, charities, schools etc. in London, to ensure we are speaking to the correct people about guardianship living, and that key workers are able to benefit from our LOWEkey prioritisation.
We know that the economic impact of Covid-19 is still unravelling, and the resilience of the economy and society largely depends on the ability to ensure key workers can continue to work, without additional financial burden.
The term ‘key worker’ can often be misunderstood as to who falls into this category. For clarity, we take our lead from the Government definition of essential workers, according to the government website. These are:
- All NHS and social care staff
- Essential public services staff
- Public safety and national security staff
- Transport and border workers
- Education and childcare workers
- Critical personnel in the production and distribution of food, drink and essential goods
- Local and national government staff
- Public and environmental health staff
- Funeral industry workers
- Frontline local authority staff and volunteers
- Utilities, communication and financial services staff
If you have a vacant building and you would like to find out how our bespoke services can work for you, contacts us today for a free consultation and our recommendations on how best to protect your building.