Council houses in Milton Keynes stand empty for over two years

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Red-faced MK Council will be forced to ‘fine’ itself £10,000 after discovering it owns 17 houses that have stood empty for more than TWO YEARS.

The shameful statistic came when officers assessed how much the council would reap in Empty Homes Premium payments this year.

Designed to penalise home owners and landlords who leave properties empty during the crisis, the premium charges up to 150 per cent of the usual council tax liability.

In MK there are 148 homes liable for the premium. And 17 of these belong to the council, admit officers.

Labour’s housing councillor Nigel Long said some of the properties were in Netherfield’s Buckland Lodge and were empty because of subsidence problems.

But Tory leader Edith Bald slammed the situation as disgraceful.

“We are in the midst of a housing crisis and not only does the council have 17 of its properties empty for more than two years , but its having to punish itself by paying the Empty Homes Premium on them,” she said.

“They need to jolly well do something about this embarrassing situation before any more money and houses are wasted.

“Labour need to jolly well do something about this embarrassing situation.”

Nigel Long has now asked the council for a list of the 17 unused properties.

Meanwhile the council has been handed just over £200,000 from the governments £500m fund to tackle rough sleeping nationally.

The money will be used by the city’s Homeless Partnership scheme.