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Homelessness Action: The next steps.

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The number of homeless families in Bed and Breakfast has dropped to 13 or 1.6% compared to 53% (143 out of 271) of homeless families being in B&B two years ago. However, the Council does have 765 households in all forms of temporary accommodation (as at Friday 07.07.17)

This week the Council will set out further proposals to tackle homelessness.

1. On the 11 July extra funds to buy empty properties will be agreed by Cllr Nigel Long through a "Delegated Decision". The extra £3.2 million will bring the spend on buying properties up to 7.5 million this year. This will deliver around 35 properties. These are in addition to the Councils new build council housing programme of 74 properties. These will provide secure tenancies and have social housing rents.

2. Secondly, Cllr Long will through a further Delegated Decision approve the Council entering into a partnership with Three Conditions Housing Association. (3CHA). This will see 20 properties acquired, with an option to increase to 40 properties. The rents will be set at Local Housing Allowance (LHA) level. The properties will be managed and maintained by the Council.

In addition at Cabinet on the 11 July the meeting will receive an update on the establishment of a one stop shop for homeless rough sleepers. The meeting will also have an update on the new outreach homelessness service that commenced on the 26 June and an update on progress to open the Homelessness bus service.

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Cllr Pete Marland

Council Leader Cllr Pete Marland said, “Homelessness whether it is families in temporary accommodation or the rough sleepers, remains too high. I am delighted that use of B&B has dropped, but it still remains too high. Everyone should have access to a secure affordable home in my view. That is Labour’s ambition for Milton Keynes.

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Cllr Nigel Long

Cabinet member for Adult Social Care and Housing Cllr Nigel Long added, “Next week we will build further on our work to address the housing and homelessness crisis facing our city. Extra funds to buy homes is good, but only scratches the surface of the problem. Our new partnership with 3CHA is another important step forward. But again we must do more. This will, I believe offer a good way forward.

Cllr Pete Marland concluded, “Tackling homelessness and the bigger problem of a lack of affordable housing is a major priority for the Council. We want the Government to remove the cap on our ability to invest in new homes. We have written to Ministers, pleaded with the two Milton Keynes MPs. But they all say no to removing the cap and investing in new homes. Yes we are making good progress. But it is not enough. As a new parent I can think of nothing worse than a young family waking up each morning in one room in temporary accommodation.

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