Council exceeds new homes purchase programme and plans to link new homes purchased to preventing homelessness by private landlord evictions.

In February, Cllr Nigel Long announced that the Council were on target to purchase 24 properties in 2018/19. The cost to the Council’s Housing Account was £4.3 million. This position has been exceeded in order to tackle the growing homelessness problem.

The Council is now on track to buy up 50 properties by the end of July 2019 at a cost of £8million in total.
A further £174,000 has been spent on bringing the homes up to the Decent Homes standard.  This will rise to around £350,000 for all 50 properties.
The Council has plans to buy a further 30 properties from September to March 2020. This however will require further funding to be agreed.
Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Nigel Long, said: “I am pleased we are now able to buy 50 homes by July 2019. We were giving priority to buying homes in the 7 regeneration areas. The homes are helping to meet the needs of local people and to reduce the number of households in temporary accommodation. But we will shortly change our approach to help reduce homelessness pressures that have been growing since new laws came in to force.“
Milton Keynes Council has exceeded its new homes purchase programme target.
Milton Keynes Council has exceeded its new homes purchase programme target.

On May 28th, Cllr Long will make a Delegated Decision to endorse a new home purchase programme to tackle homelessness caused by private landlord evictions. This will see the Council buying privately let properties where the tenants are facing eviction because their landlord has served a Section 21 notice to evict them. Evictions by private landlords selling their homes is the biggest cause of families becoming homeless in Milton Keynes.  

Cllr Long added: “Where private landlords want to sell their property and plan to evict sitting tenants we will be seeking to buy the properties and stop the household becoming homeless. This will remove the dreadful process of evictions and months in temporary accommodation for families. It will give families some security and stability. Preventing homelessness is really important. It will also reduce the cost to the Council of placing families in temporary accommodation and help improve the standard of housing because often these properties are in need of investment having been neglected by their private landlords”  

Cllr Long concluded: “Milton Keynes continues to face a huge and growing homelessness problem. There were 786 families in temporary accommodation on Friday 17th May. This is a horrendous number of families. I am pleased that we are building and buying new council houses. We are about to shift our purchasing to help prevent private landlord evictions and to reduce the need for costly temporary accommodation.”

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