Milton Keynes Council launches ambitious plan to tackle homelessness

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Milton Keynes Council has asked the new Housing Minister to help funding towards a new scheme which could provide much-needed accommodation for dozens of homeless families.

Council Leader Pete Marland has written to the new Housing and Planning Minister, Gavin Barwell, seeking a one off investment of around £2m to help with the costs of a new local facility.

If it gets the go-ahead – and the funding - the scheme could incorporate more than 50 units to provide temporary accommodation for homeless families and vulnerable people.

Since 2012 the cost to MK Council of homelessness has risen from £0.6m to £3.2m last year, with an anticipated net cost this financial year of £4.3m.

There are now more than 500 Milton Keynes families living in temporary accommodation, an increase of 150 over this summer alone.

“We have pledged to try and help alleviate some of the worst pressure of our homelessness crisis in MK and we are asking the Government to invest in a scheme that will help homeless families,” said Cllr Marland.

“There is a chronic shortage of affordable housing, which is being reflected up and down the country, and in Milton Keynes this is of course contributing to our own crisis, where the number of homeless families in need of housing has rocketed over this summer alone.

“I have written to the Housing Minister with a fully costed proposal that would, with some ‘one off’ booster funding from the Government, help us continue to find innovative ways of dealing with the housing crisis in the borough.”

The Council says it is pro-actively tackling the problem by building new council houses, leasing properties in the private sector, and with preventative measures including working more closely with private landlords.