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Property industry to provide buildings to house key workers

Organisations representing thousands of professionals across the surveying, architectural and planning specialisms have written to the Prime Minister to offer their help in fighting back against the growing coronavirus epidemic. 

Led by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), both the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Royal Town Planning Institute (RIBA) have signed a letter to the Government also calling on ministers to extend emergency measures to include property professionals as businesses strain to deal with the impact of the virus. 

With RICS members representing hundreds of clients across the built environment, many with vacant rooms and buildings, the move could see hundreds of empty hotel rooms, flats or commercial space repurposed to temporarily house key workers such has NHS staff so they can be located closer to hospitals and workplaces. 

The letter also makes clear that the property sector, a key part of the British economy, is straining under the pressure of the coronavirus – with effects not seen since the financial crash in 2007. 

Matthew Howell (RICS UK managing director) said: “Whether you’re a chartered surveyor, architect or town planner, the growing coronavirus pandemic is one of the biggest threats to the property industry since the financial crash, and we need serious action now to prevent job losses and businesses shutting down.” 

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