Homelessness crisis rumbles on: Many set to lose out in council’s short-term fix

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A short-term fix to tackle homelessness in Milton Keynes will fail to help more than 60 percent of those most in need, the Citizen can reveal.

Within the next six months, the council will move families living in temporary B&B accommodation into 13 properties in Bedford.

It will also shift others into 48 rooms in 12 houses across MK - as well as bungalows under construction at garage sites in Bletchley.

But with up to 400 homeless people currently living in B&Bs, just 16 per cent will be given a place by the council by March.

Tonight, Labour councillors will call on cross-party support to come up with a long-term solution as it’s predicted that £1.6million will be spent on B&B accommodation in 2015/16.

A soaring population and steep rise in property prices over the past five years is to blame, says the council.

Councillor Hannah O’Neill, cabinet member for housing and regeneration, said: “The council has been working hard to try and tackle these problems.

“However, there is not a single solution to the problem - there are both demand and supply-side approaches, but a range of solutions will need to be adopted to deal with the differing needs of various groups within the homeless, and the differing possibilities in various parts of the housing and development market.”

A small office conversion at Two Mile Ash will provide three properties just before Christmas, while other commercial and retail buildings owned by the council are being reviewed.

But discussions are already taking place over finding private temporary accommodation in towns as far out as Luton, Leighton Buzzard and Tring.

Labour cabinet members hope that a cross-party working group can be set up to “establish and agree shared solutions” that will increase the supply of properties for homeless households.