B&B crisis for homeless families

Labour are calling for Milton Keynes Council to come clean and take action after new research showed that the borough has one of the worst records in England for putting families into Bed & Breakfast accommodation for more than six weeks.

 

It is against the law for councils to keep homeless families in temporary accommodation for more than six weeks - but MK Council is doing just that. Milton Keynes Council is now the 4th worst authority in England for breaking the law.

 

In May this year a BBC investigation revealed that MK Council spent £1.4 million in 2012 housing families in temporary housing. This led to councillors to back a Labour call for the Tory-led administration to get a grip on costs.

 

Yet in the months since the situation has worsened, with the number of families in B&Bs doubling from 34 to 60. The cost to taxpayers for ‘housing access’ hit £1 million in July alone this year.

 

Labour are now warning that the situation is set to worsen the number of tenants in rent arrears has hit over 300 due to the introduction of the Bedroom Tax. Labour says that despite warnings, the Tory administration have failed to put in place a proper plan to address the issue and the result has been a huge bill for the taxpayer.

 

They are now calling on the Tory Council leadership to produce a spending reduction plan by the end of October that sets out the urgent action and longer term steps they will take to tackle the MK housing crisis.

 

Andrew Pakes Labour & Co-operative Parliamentary Candidate for Milton Keynes South said,

 

"It is shameful that Milton Keynes is the 4th worst council in England for packing off homeless families to B&Bs, many outside the borough. Yet despite the warnings, these figures have got worse in recent months meaning more expense for local taxpayers.

 

“Under David Cameron, more families are facing a cost of living crisis with prices rising faster than wages. With 300 people now in rent arrears because of the Bedroom Tax, we don't just face a crisis but a looming disaster. It is the financial cost of bad policies.

 

“The Tory-run council needs to stop being complacent and get a grip on the growing cost of this housing crisis.”