On Tuesday 27 June at the Milton Keynes Council Housing Committee, following questions from the Committee, Cllr Nigel Long, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Housing identified the first 4 sites for modular housing.
Modular housing is a form of high quality temporary accommodation that will help the Council tackle the horrendous homelessness crisis facing the city. The 4 initial sites that are being looked at are:
· Gurnards Avenue on Fishermead. (First site)
· Ardwell Lane, Greenleys
· Site 3, Westcroft.
· Hendrix Drive, Crownhill
· All sites are owned by Milton Keynes development company MK Development Partnership.
· The properties will be on 15 year leases.
They will need planning permission and consultation with residents and parish councils will be undertaken. Cllr Nigel Long, Cabinet member for Adult Social Care and Housing said, “On Friday 23 June there were 801 homeless households in temporary accommodation with 1326 children. They are mostly located outside of Milton Keynes. We are planning to use modular housing to increase the amount of local temporary accommodation.
In April 2016 The Labour Administration set itself the target of reducing the use of the use of Bed and Breakfast temporary accommodation. In April 2016 it stood a 53%. Since then the number of homeless households has jumped from 361 to 801 last week. A jump of 440 households. But the percentage in B&B has dropped from 53% to 2.7%
Cllr Nigel Long concluded, “We have met our commitment to reduce the number of families in B&B. Now we want to move forward by bringing homeless families back to Milton Keynes. The modular housing will play a big role in achieving this. We will start with 60 properties on Fishermead. Then we will look at up to 300 properties overall across the other sites. We would, of course, prefer to offer permanent housing, but given the Government restrictions on our ability to build, we will use the modular housing to provide better local temporary accommodation. “