Call for council to take action over number of homeless families living in B&Bs

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Labour is calling for Milton Keynes Council to “come clean and take action” in light of new research which reveals the borough has one of the worst records in England for putting homeless families in bed and breakfast accommodation for more than six weeks.

Milton Keynes Council is now the fourth worst authority in England for housing families with children in B&Bs for more than six weeks.

In May this year an investigation revealed the council had spent £1.4 million in 2012 housing families in temporary accommodation.

Yet in the months since the situation has worsened, with the number of families in B&Bs increasing from 34 to 60. The top three authorities are all London boroughs, with Hounslow on top with 100 families.

Labour is now warning that the situation is set to worsen as the number of council tenants in rent arrears has topped 300 due to the introduction of the ‘Bedroom Tax’.

Andrew Pakes, Labour & Co-operative Parliamentary Candidate for Milton Keynes South, is calling on the council leadership to produce a spending reduction plan by the end of October that sets out the urgent action and longer term steps they will take to tackle the MK housing crisis.

He said: “It is shameful that Milton Keynes is the fourth worst council in England for packing off homeless families to B&Bs, many outside the borough.

“Yet despite the warnings, these figures have got worse in recent months meaning more expense for local taxpayers.

“Under David Cameron, more families are facing a cost of living crisis with prices rising faster than wages.

“With 300 people now in rent arrears because of the Bedroom Tax, we don’t just face a crisis but a looming disaster. It is the financial cost of bad policies.

“The Tory-run council needs to stop being complacent and get a grip on the growing cost of this housing crisis.”