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Tackling housing crisis October 2016

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Labour led Milton Keynes Council has responded to the latest challenge in the housing crisis.  MK has seen a 96% increase in the number of families in temporary accommodation since last year. Rising from 271 families at the end of March 2015 to 530 last Friday 7 October. This is among the highest increases in the Country.

The latest national evidence published in Inside Housing (7 October 2016) shows a huge increase in the use of temporary accommodation across the Country.

* Birmingham saw its number of homeless families rise by 52.5%

* The highest London borough; Southwark saw an increase of 50.8%.

Against this backdrop of the growing use of temporary accommodation Milton Keynes Council has sought to reduce the number of families in Bed and Breakfast (B&B) accommodation.

Cabinet member for Housing and Adult Social Care Cllr Nigel Long said;

Since 2015/16 the proportion of families in B&B has dropped from 53% on average last year to 31% as of last week. This is against the huge growth in the number of homeless families.

He continued “Despite the lower percentage use of B&B the situation is still dire for families. We have set out in the Council Plan our commitment to reducing the use of B&B.

The Council will take two additional actions to reduce use of B&B.

* On Tuesday 11 October Cllr Nigel Long will authorise the conversion of Orchard House in Wolverton into temporary accommodation.

* Last week saw the Council start to use new specialist temporary accommodation in Luton. The first 20 families moved in last week. The property will provide 110 apartments when fully operational.

Cllr Long added, “We are working to secure alternatives to expensive B&B accommodation. Using Luton is not great, but it is preferable to using B&B hotels. It is also better Value for Money.

Notes:

Table 1: Trend in Use of Temporary Accommodation and B&B

Date Total in Temporary Accommodation Number in B&B % in B&B
Weekly average 2015-16 271 143 53%
March 361 146 40%
Sept 531 170 32%
October  530 165 31%

Source: MK Council Housing Services.

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