Deloitte UK has started supporting its young graduate recruits with finding a place to live in London as the poorly performing housing market makes finding a suitable place to live nearly impossible. The consulting firm will work with Get Living London to turn the 2012 Olympic athletes’ village into a living space for 40 of its new recruits.
Finding a flat in London is no easy feat. House prices have become prohibitive for many, with the housing crisis following continued increases in demand as the capital city attracts more and more skilled workers while supply remains limited. The result is that for many young workers, gaining an affordable and adequate spot to live has become extremely difficult.
The problem is now so severe that Deloitte is stepping in. The firm will provide its young talent with access to housing – as a bargaining chip to attract them to the firm, as well as to make a wider point about the conditions business and employees are suffering from the continued shortage. The consulting firm found that almost 90% of its incoming graduates want the firm to find housing for them, with 5% indicating that their financial situation is so limited that they are required to share a room to make working for the company a reality.
The location for the 40 graduates that are provided housing by Deloitte is the former athletes’ village in east London. The site has housed some of the world’s most celebrated athletes, including Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt. The complex will be rebranded the ‘East Village’as part of the project. The firm has teamed up with the Get Living London agency to secure its recruits with a ‘no fees’ and ‘no credit checks’ based approach. Further bonuses include a two week free rent period and being able to secure the room six weeks in advance.
Deloitte Partner James Ferguson says about the conditions: “London has an image problem as a place where affordable accommodation is hard to find. Initiatives like this seek to address the problem to ensure London remains an attractive destination for the best and brightest.” Although it appears that the problem is more than just one of image. The firm’s UK chairman, Simon Collins, adds that the government needs to improve the affordability of housing as a priority, adding that there is: “a widening gap between demand for housing and available supply.”
Alina Serdjukova, an Associate in Deloitte’s audit practice, who will be moving into a flat in the new East Village, says: “Finding affordable accommodation with good facilities was really difficult. The better flats are often taken before you even speak to the agent, or in some cases are not as nice as advertised.”