Milton Keynes Council has today started a 12-week public consultation on a new vision to ensure “truly affordable homes for all citizens of Milton Keynes.”
Milton Keynes continues to face a severe housing crisis, with 800 households homeless and in temporary accommodation. Even more families are living in insecure, private, rented housing and private landlords are making millions from high rents.
Evictions from private landlords are the biggest source of homelessness in Milton Keynes. There is a lack of truly affordable, secure housing. Thousands of families are in work but still struggle to pay high private landlord rents and mortgages.
Labour-led Milton Keynes Council is now consulting on the establishment of a clear and simple strategy for housing in Milton Keynes. Their vision is to “provide good quality housing that meets everyone’s needs, is truly affordable and supports the creation of great places to live. Such truly affordable housing must meet local priority needs.”
The Council’s priorities are:
- High quality placemaking and creating great places to live.
- Increasing the delivery of new homes, including truly affordable housing, along with the infrastructure to meet housing need.
- Ensuring that everyone has access to appropriate, safe and secure housing that meets their needs.
- Ensuring high quality homes and landlord services.
The strategy aims to bring together the Council with partners such as housing associations, developers and Homes England to address the housing crisis facing Milton Keynes. It also aims to develop the Council’s own housing service and create a new Council-owned housing company to build a range of 2000 truly affordable homes for sale and rent.
Cllr Nigel Long, Cabinet Member for Housing and Regeneration, said: “The new housing strategy brings the Council’s housing and planning services together to address the shortage of truly affordable housing.”
Cllr Long added: “Our priority is to ensure that all people have fair and equal access to safe and secure housing that meets their needs. We don’t want to see families pushed into the insecurity of the private landlord. We will increase the delivery of new homes including 500 new council houses, 100 new accessible homes and a range of other affordable housing choices such as 2000 homes through the new Council-owned housing company.”
Some headline commitments from the strategy are to:
- Work through direct provision and partnership to deliver a wide range of affordable housing choices.
- Develop strong communities around new housing.
- Link new housing to energy efficient homes and access to green space.
- Establish a housing company to build a range of truly affordable housing for sale and for a range of rent options.
- Develop other housing options through Community Land Trusts and restoring the building of co-operative housing.
- Continue to develop the Council’s nationally recognised good practice on homelessness and rough sleepers.
- Ensure 1000 units of student accommodation.
- Put tenants at the heart of a modernised, customer-focused Council housing service.
- Ensure year-on-year investment into improving existing Council housing.
- Seek to agree fairer rents in the private rented sector.
- Offer affordable housing choices such as Rent to Buy and more shared ownership.
- Work with the Government to deliver 37,000 new truly affordable homes by 2050.
Cllr Long concluded: “The new housing strategy will provide a clear direction for all those involved in building or managing homes in Milton Keynes. The new housing strategy will start to end the affordable housing crisis facing Milton Keynes, making secure, high-quality housing the choice for all residents of Milton Keynes as our new city grows.”