Barts and the London Charity sells one of last Whitechapel staff housing blocks
PUBLISHED: 14:46 30 January 2012
A charity which provides subsidised rental properties for staff at the Royal London hospital has sold off one of its last blocks to a private developer.
Former and current staff members living at Gwynne House in Turner Street, Whitechapel were told they would have to move late last year as Barts and the London Charity has sold the 21 flats.
Most tenants were served eviction notices as developer Noble House Properties is planning refurbishments on the 1930s building but four have assured tenancies, which means they cannot be evicted but could have their rent increased to market rates.
The charity has two other properties in Whitechapel which are available to hospital staff as well as employees of the Metropolitan Police and Fire Service.
Staff rents range from £425 to £1,260 per month.
One tenant said there was a feeling among staff members that they had been “dumped”.
But the charity said the recent sale is reflective of the national trend of hospitals moving away from providing accommodation for doctors and nurses.
Chief executive Andrew Douglas said: “If you look at any NHS hospital there is a move away from this. Less and less young people wanted to stay in these sorts of places. When the hospital used to want subsidised accommodation we provided it. Everything we do is to ensure we can give more back to patient care.”
Mr Douglas said the charity’s two other blocks also let out flats on a commercial basis.
He would not rule out the charity selling them in future.
Lettings PA Lucy Shapiro, from estate agent Paramount, managing the block on behalf of Noble House, said negotiations with assured tenancies were on-going.
She said: “We could go to the rent office and get their rent up to market rent. The rent officer, who is independent from us, will make the decision. We could also relocate them to a similar flat.”
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