Milton Keynes Council submitted on Friday 21 September a bid to build 596 much needed new Council houses across the Borough at a time of rising homelessness and housing demand.
Friday 21 September was the deadline to submit proposals to the Government, which if successful will see the Government removing its harmful cap on the Councils ability to invest for three years.
The Government is seeking bids to remove the cap on investment from Councils facing severe housing and homelessness problems.
Cllr Nigel Long, Cabinet Member for Housing and Regeneration said, “Milton Keynes faces a severe housing problem. There are nearly 600 homeless families in temporary accommodation, hundreds more struggling to pay excessive rents in the private rented sector and even more still living at home with parents. We want to build new Council houses as part of the next stage in offering truly affordable housing to low and middle income households. We aim to restore choice and security for young families and to households unable to afford high rents.”
The Councils Housing Service will have built, is building or bought 200 new council houses since Labour took over running the Council. But the numbers are far below the level of demand. This is because the Government limits how much Councils can invest. It places a cap on what MK Council can invest.
Cabinet Member for Resources Rob Middleton added, “Our Housing Account is financially stable and the Housing Business Plan highlights this stability over the next 30 years. However despite this, the Tory Government has consistently refused to remove the cap. We will see if they now remove the cap and allow us to invest in the 596 new Council homes on top of the 200 we are already delivering. It will be shameful if they refuse to allow a well-run housing service to invest or only slightly raise the cap.”
Milton Keynes Council owns 12,500 rented and shared ownership properties. The new homes will be built across the city. Cllr Long concluded, “We are committed to tackling housing need across the borough. We hope the Government agrees to remove their arbitrary cap.”