He made the statement at the Tory party conference as he promised to increase the number of nurses by 25%.
Hunt’s pledge to expand affordable housing was welcomed by Danny Mortimer, CEO of NHS Employers.
He said: “ The commitment to use NHS land to build affordable homes is great news. The NHS Confederation, together with NHS Employers, has been calling for an ambitious programme to use NHS land to create additional affordable homes for our staff.
“The announcement will undoubtedly support recruitment and retention. Housing is a critical issue for staff and their families.
Separately, a United Nations report today slams the free market system for failing to provide affordable housing to the majority of the world’s population.
Dr Joan Clos, executive director of the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) said analysis over the last 20 years shows despite increasing demand, housing – including rentals – has been largely unaffordable for most people.
He claimed “handing over housing to the market has proved a failure”, and recalled housing was “at the epicentre of global economic crisis of 2008”, instead of being at the heart of urban policies around the world.
The UN report said 1.6bn people live in inadequate housing, of which one billion live in slums and informal settlements.”
The report marks today’s World Habitat Day which also signals the start of ‘Urban October’ – a month of worldwide celebrations and citizen’s engagement in urban life worldwide.
Clos highlighted the complexity of meeting the poor’s housing needs by pointing out that research showed the stock of vacant houses was gradually increasing
“Ensuring housing affordability is therefore a complex issue of strategic importance for development, social peace and equality,” he added.
“As we strive to create cities for all, an urgent action for achieving affordable homes requires a global commitment to effective and inclusive housing policies,” said Clos.