New bungalows to help Milton Keynes beat homeless crisis

Councillor Hannah O'Neill and Leader of the Council Pete Marland
Councillor Hannah O'Neill and Leader of the Council Pete Marland

The city’s first council homes built for 18 years were unveiled on Wednesday.

A total of 13 bungalows are ready to welcome new tenants in Briar Hill, Stacey Bushes, 
after being given the go ahead by the former Conservative council 18 months ago.

Councillor Hannah O’Neill, cabinet member for housing, was joined by leader of the council Councillor Peter 
Marland, to unveil the long-awaited project.

She said: “I am delighted to say that tenants have moved in to the first six bungalows.

“The remaining seven properties will be complete within the next few weeks.

“These properties have been built to a high specification in terms of energy efficiency and accessibility, and are suitable for individuals, couples and small families who need specially adapted accommodation.

“What is so exciting about this development is that it shows the determination and dedication of the council, through the RegenerationMK programme, to provide exceptional accommodation.

This is just the first of a number of initiatives that will be developed over the coming years to deliver housing that is energy efficient with another 13 bungalows in West 
Bletchley due to be built in the winter.

Tory group leader Edith Bald who was housing leader when the building plans were put through, said: “When we came into power we could see there was a big shortage of housing, especially at the social end and where there’s a will there’s a way.

“I am so pleased to see these new council houses, for the first for 18 years, have now come to fruition.

“I was housing leader for nearly three years and was instrumental in bringing this about.

“I’m so happy it happened under our watch.”

Leader of the Council, Pete Marland said: “Many years ago the government brought in a cap on the amount of money the council was allowed to borrow and I think the appetite hasn’t been there for a number of years to build council houses.

“But as the wheel has turned, people understand the need for a mix of housing - from social housing right through to market-value housing.

“It’s fantastic for Milton Keynes. It’s the first of many schemes because we have promised to build 200 council houses starting in 2017.

“We’ve got a number of things in the pipeline that we’ll be announcing soon, but then we’ve also got the massive regeneration schemes that are going to be coming up in some of the older areas of Milton Keynes - so this is just the start.”