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Private Rents in Milton Keynes are very high. This is a particular problem for low income households because Housing Benefit is capped off by the Government and has been frozen since 2015 and this impacts on local families.

Tackling High Rents and Evictions is a local priority for the Labour administration because outside of London, Milton Keynes has the fourth highest gap between Housing Benefit available to meet the average monthly cost of renting a two bedroom property for a small family and the level of rent charged.  The consequences of that are more children end up in temporary accommodation and we working hard to stop that.

Only Cambridge, Brighton and Bristol have a bigger gap between rent levels and available Housing Benefit, known as Local Housing Allowance (LHA)

This means that a low income family, who are privately renting a two bedroom property will have to contribute £186 per month on top of their Housing Benefit to pay the rent. This will have to come from their benefits or if on a low wage from their pay. This figure rises to £248 per month if they live in a three bed private rented property. (See attached table 1)

Evictions of private renters has increased both nationally and in Milton Keynes.

Cllr Nigel Long, Cabinet member for housing said, “Evictions by private landlords is the biggest reason for households becoming homeless.”

The figures for the last two years are:

in 2015/16. 378 households.

in  2016/17  363 households.

Source: MK Council

 

Cllr Nigel Long added “We have 4 major problems that together are creating an unprecedented  housing crisis for  Milton Keynes.

  1. There is a lack of housing supply especially low cost housing.
  2. Private rents are rising to unaffordable levels. Both creating homelessness, and pushing working households into poverty.  
  3. Private landlords are not renewing tenancies.  They favour of evictions and higher rents.
  4. The growing gap between private rents and the LHA is making private rented housing unaffordable.  The LHA is frozen at 2015 levels, despite rents continuing to rise above inflation. The LHA  has been frozen by the Government until 2020.”

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Cllr Long

Cllr Long concluded, “The Labour led Council is committed to addressing the lack of affordable housing and rising homelessness. We need to find a better way forward that addresses the failures of the housing market. We need a new partnership with decent private landlords. We need to promote security and limits on rents.”


 

Notes:

Table 1 : Milton Keynes Private Rented Sector (PRS) Rent Levels @ Nov 2016 (Pounds)

 

Bedsize

Monthly

LHA April 2016

Mean

Monthly Shortfall against mean (Average)

Weekly Shortfall against mean (Average)

Lower Quartile

Median

Upper Quartile

1

525.16

677

151.84

35.04

600

675

725

2

656.50

843

186.50

43.04

770

825

895

3

757.51

1006

248.49

57.34

895

975

1095

4

969.06

1479

509.94

116.68

1280

1400

1599

 Source: Valuation Office Agency data (published Nov 2016) shows the monthly rents for MK.

1,168 children spent Easter in Temporary Accommodation

Private Rents in Milton Keynes are very high. This is a particular problem for low income households because Housing Benefit is capped off by the Government and has been frozen...

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A Local Councillor says more accessible disabled parking bays are needed at the purpose built Shenley Extra Care Village. The Village provides 300 homes for people aged 60 plus and around 20% of residents receive care and support. However, there are only 22 disabled parking  bays.

Milton Keynes Council sees the Extra Care homes as providing an important choice for older people to live independently. However most residents are active, many residents drive, and many could do with access to disabled parking. 

There are 223 parking spaces but only 22 of these, or under 10% are disabled bays. At present according to the Charitable Trust that runs the Extra Care home only 30 residents have Blue Badges. However technically the Blue badge scheme does not apply to off street parking. 

Following a recent incident where a disabled driver could not park and ended up falling as a result of having to park in a non-disabled bay local Councillor Zoe Nolan has become involved. 

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Cllr Zoe Nolan

Cllr Nolan said,“I am a strong supporter of Extra Care villages, but given that many residents are disabled but still very active, though unable to walk far, there is a need for more disabled parking that is easy to park in and accessible for disabled people when getting out of their cars.” 

Cllr Nolan has been investigating. The Trust have been helpful, but have not yet agreed to increase the number of bays. She believes that any future new extra care villages or similar accommodation should have higher standards and numbers of disabled parking. 

She concluded,“New Council disabled bungalows have very good parking provision. I would like to see the Shenley Extra Care Village move more quickly on the number of bays provided and to commit to more bays in any future developments.” 


Extra Care Village should provide more Disabled Parking

A Local Councillor says more accessible disabled parking bays are needed at the purpose built Shenley Extra Care Village. The Village provides 300 homes for people aged 60 plus and...

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As part of Milton Keynes Labour Party’s 100th birthday celebrations, we always intended to hold a summer picnic. Following the murder of our colleague, Jo Cox MP. we have decided to open the event up to the wider public, as part of the Great Get Together Weekend.  The picnic will be held at Willen Lake Park on Saturday 17 June, and all are welcome.

Chair of Milton Keynes Labour Party, Paul Day, said:

“Some of our local members knew Jo Cox personally, but all of us felt the loss to our party and the country of a tremendous person.  If we can help to create a more positive feeling between people, following her death, then that feels like the right way to honour her. We all agreed that the right thing was to convert our Centenary event into part of the Great Get Together Campaign

Jo Cox’s life was marked by her compassion, and by her passion. She worked tirelessly for a fairer, kinder, and more tolerant world. And she believed passionately that even the greatest challenges could be overcome.

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Jo Cox

The idea behind The Great Get Together is to bring communities together to celebrate what we have in common. It has cross-party backing, and is supported by some of the most prominent Remain and Brexit campaigners. However, it is completely outside of party politics and the Brexit debate.  This picnic is categorically NOT a political event.  Everyone is welcome, and the organisers hope to see as many people as possible come together for a relaxing afternoon, at a beautiful location in Milton Keynes.  There is no charge, and attendees just need to bring along their own picnic.

Paul concluded:

“After Jo’s death, the public were fantastic in their generosity, donating funds to good causes which she supported. That money has been put to good use.  The Jo Cox Foundation are behind the Great Get Together, as a national campaign.  Another one of the initiatives currently being delivered in Jo’s honour, is the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness. We would especially like to extend our invitation to those people who would otherwise feel alone on that afternoon”.

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Some attendees will be wearing "happy to Chat" badges, which are part of the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness. The badge indicates that they are happy to chat to anyone who wants to talk. Anyone can ask for a badge and make a pledge to be “happy to chat” via the Jo Cox loneliness website (see below for website details).

On arrival at the picnic, just locate the red coloured Labour Party gazebo, find yourself a space, and enjoy the afternoon with the others who have come along.

You can tell the MK Labour Party you are coming along by RSVPing here: http://www.mklabour.org.uk/great_get_together_picnic

Further information

https://greatgettogether.org    and   https://www.jocoxloneliness.org/   

 

Great Get Together - 17 June

As part of Milton Keynes Labour Party’s 100th birthday celebrations, we always intended to hold a summer picnic. Following the murder of our colleague, Jo Cox MP. we have decided...

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