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1,168 children spent Easter in Temporary Accommodation

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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.

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