Labour led Milton Keynes Council is building or acquiring 98 much needed council houses this year (17/18) The figure rises to 164 if the first phase of new modular housing is included. Yet with 764 households and 1238 children in Temporary accommodation last Friday (12.05.17) the progress on new housing is only scratching the surface of the homelessness and housing crisis facing Milton Keynes. To make real change we need a change of the rules governed by central government.
The current Government has said it wants Councils to build new homes, but Conservative Housing Minister Gavin Barwell MP wrote, twice, once in March, once in April blocking the removal of the cap on investing in new homes. (Letters 13.03.17 and 05.04.17) His refusal to remove the cap on investment was supported by both Milton Keynes Tory MPs (Letter 15.03.17)
Labour Parliamentary Candidate for MK South, Cllr Hannah O’Neill, said “I want to highlight that the Government is saying one thing nationally. But locally they are blocking Council house building.”
She added, “I am saddened that there were 1238 children last Friday in temporary accommodation, because there is not an affordable home available to their families. If we had been allowed to build over the last 7 years since 2010, we would not have the large numbers of homeless families. The Government has consistently refused to remove the cap on the Councils ability to invest in new Council housing. They are wrong on this and wrong to pretend they support new Council housing when locally they block it.“
Cllr O’Neill concluded, “We can do better. I want the Government to immediately remove the cap on investment once parliament returns after the general election. Milton Keynes Council will then start the biggest council house building programme locally since the late 1970s on land it owns and begin the work to stop there being 1200 plus children in temporary