People have a better chance of winning the lottery than buying a home in Stroud, according to the town’s former MP.

Labour County Councillor David Drew (L, Stroud Central) made the comments yesterday as he raised concerns over the lack of affordable housing for health and social care workers in Gloucestershire.

The overall average price for a property in Stroud is around £365,000 according to Right Move.

Most sales in the town over the last year were semi-detached properties, selling for an average price of £370,976.

Detached homes sold for an average of £554,948, with terraced houses fetching £284,034.

While the average salary for Gloucestershire is around £31,000.

Cllr Drew asked county NHS bosses what is being done to help their staff find affordable housing at the health overview and scrutiny committee on November 28.

“You’ve got more of a chance of winning the lottery at the moment than buying a house in Stroud,” the former MP said.

“We have no private renting at all at the moment. That’s the problem. You can’t attract younger people to a place like Stroud.

“They can’t afford to buy to start with because they’ve got student debt and all the rest of it.

“Trying to get private renting is a nightmare.”

NHS Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board (ICB) bosses who are tasked with developing a plan for meeting the health needs of the population, managing the health budget and arranging for the provision of health services in the county said they are considering options which include setting up an accommodation hub.

“This would provide access for staff to a dedicated housing support and advice around rental options and also two facilitate options such as home share and home stay,” ICB director of people, culture and engagement Tracey Cox said.

“This is where people might be able to rent a room within somebody else’s house. These are not long term options for some individuals but would certainly make a difference to attract and retain staff.

“We agree with you completely. Accommodation is a critical issue that we are starting to look at.”

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Deborah Lee said they are in the midst of conversations with landlords around housing for medical students and international graduates.

“Sadly, it does not tend to be so attractive to come out to the more rural communities,” she said.

“The economies of scale up there but certainly for Gloucester city and Cheltenham we are working with landlords.”

Chairman Andrew Gravells (C, Abbey) asked if NHS bosses were in talks with the housing departments of the six districts to see if there was any way in which they could help with accommodation.

He asked: “Have you ever had, for example, a round table with the six district council housing departments with you guys from the two NHS trusts and said how can you help us?

They said they have not but are happy to explore it further. And said they want to talk to the district more on how they can collaborate with options for their staff.

Cllr Gravells said he would be happy to help set up a pilot scheme.