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The Royal Town and Planning Institute has published a report on the growing role for Councils in providing new housing.[i]

 

The report endorses what Milton Keynes Council is doing whilst highlighting that the Government needs to change the rules allowing Councils to borrow to invest.

The report highlights that 65% of Councils are involved in building new council housing. What is different, however, is that as well as traditional housing for low cost rent Councils are building new homes for sale and for different rent levels.  Most councils are also building new homes through housing companies, partnerships and through General Fund investment. (This is investment funded by Council tax income) 

In Milton Keynes since 2015/16 the Labour led Council has built or acquired 136 new homes. With  a further 50 new builds to start next year. Further acquisition is also being considered.

It is also developing 200 homes at higher rents and 80 modular houses through a partnership with Mears.  

However the report highlights that the main constraint on building new homes is the continued Government cap on the ability of Milton Keynes Council to borrow to invest.

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Cllr Nigel Long, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Housing said, “Milton Keynes is embracing new council housing both through new build and through more creative arrangements. This includes other forms of rented housing. In the longer term we will offer houses for low cost sale and shared ownership as well as homes at a range of rent levels.”

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Council Leader Cllr Pete Marland added, “We are pleased to be building and acquiring new council houses. However, we are only addressing the tip of the housing and homelessness crisis  iceberg. We had 666 households in temporary accommodation last week.  We will only be able to tackle this problem if we can build hundreds of extra homes each year. To do that, as the report says, we must be able to invest. That means the Tory cap on investment must be lifted.”

Cllr Long concluded, “Milton Keynes Council is doing what most Councils are doing and building new homes. But to be effective we need the local MPs to change their minds and back our call for the borrowing cap to be removed. Until we can invest we will have hundreds of homeless households in temporary accommodation every Christmas. It is just wrong that there will be over 1,000 children in such places this Christmas.”


[i] (http://rtpi.org.uk/media/2619006/Local-authority-direct-provision-of-housing.pdf)

National Report backs Council role in building new homes.

The Royal Town and Planning Institute has published a report on the growing role for Councils in providing new housing.[i]  

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Milton Keynes has an ageing population. The numbers of older people is set to grow dramatically, to over 49,000 by 2026’ With a 66.9% increase in the over 80s.

Milton Keynes Councils Adult Social Care and Housing services are committed to helping older people live independently in their own homes. What is clear from national research is that home improvements are key to improving later lives and to reducing falls in the home. According to November 2017 report Room to improve’    produced by the ‘Centre for Ageing Better’[i] “The percentage of people who have difficulty with at least one daily function (eating, bathing, dressing) increased dramatically from 16% at age 65 to around 50% at age 85.”

It is clear that by making small changes to older people’s homes, such as installing handrails, ramps and level-access showers, alongside carrying out simple home repairs, can play a significant role in relieving pressure on the NHS and social care and reduce costs by millions of pounds each year. As well as keeping people safe and independent. Last year MKC put in

  • 197 low level showers installed in people’s homes.
  • 116 stair lifts.
  • 40 ramps
  • 82 other adaptions such as wider doors and handrails.

At Cabinet on December 5 it was agreed to put a further £250,000 in to additional Aids and adaptations for Council tenants. (Pages 92 and 98)

This is on top of the £1.064 million pounds being spent on disabled facility grants used to put aids and adaptations into the homes of older and disabled people. (pg. 100) The range of aids and equipment can be found on the MKC website.[ii]

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Cllr Nigel Long, Cabinet member for Adult Social Care and Housing  said, “Helping older and disabled people stay safe in their own homes is a top priority. By investing in home aids and adaptations we reduce the number of older people who end up in hospital or very expensive care homes. I was pleased we put another £250,000 into the budget.”

Labour invests £250,000 more - making homes safe for older and disabled people

Milton Keynes has an ageing population. The numbers of older people is set to grow dramatically, to over 49,000 by 2026’ With a 66.9% increase in the over 80s.

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Milton Keynes is in the middle of a national housing crisis. For many people owning their own home is a distant dream, and rents are increasingly unaffordable.

The Government have said that between now and 2050 they’d like to see a million new houses built between Oxford, Milton Keynes and Cambridge, and Milton Keynes could grow to a population of at least 500,000.

Milton Keynes Labour Party believes that if Milton Keynes is to deliver extra new homes we must build more genuinely affordable homes, and an ambitious level of council houses for a new generation. We are therefore calling on the Government and our Members of Parliament to “Back us to Build,” and let us create vibrant new communities that are a true legacy to the founding principles of Milton Keynes.

The “Back us to Build” campaign is calling on the Conservative Government and our Conservative MPs to:

  • Back us to Build 37,500 new council houses by 2050
  • Remove all restrictions on MK Council building new council houses
  • Ensure 50% of any extra housing is genuinely affordable

Sign the Back us to Build petition at http://www.mklabour.org.uk/back-us-to-build

Back us to Build

Milton Keynes is in the middle of a national housing crisis. For many people owning their own home is a distant dream, and rents are increasingly unaffordable.

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