U-turn saves families from homelessness

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News

Families set to be made homeless by the council have been given a last-minute reprieve.

Tenants of Ambassador House in Bletchley were due to be kicked out and moved to Luton in two weeks’ time over a council quibble with the developers.

Tories slammed the move as “disastrous” and have since pressurised the council to renew its three-year lease.

Councillor Ann Clancy said: ‘I am so pleased that Labour have finally seen sense and are going to allow these residents to stay in their homes.

“It would have been a disaster for families to see this arrangement end and taxpayers would have had to foot the bill for bed and breakfast.”

The five one-bed and 21 two-bed flats are used as temporary accommodation for families, each unit costing the council up to £650 per month respectively.

Councillor Edith Bald says this means taxpayers will save up to £40,000 a year if the council had to fork out for bed and breakfast.

She said: “The original decision was plainly wrong, making families homeless and disrupting children’s schooling.

“It’s a no-brainer. Thank goodness Labour listened to our advice.”

The saga began in 2012 when City Renovations, the company behind the flats redevelopment, was due to lease 26 units to Luton Borough Council. But in a delegated decision to be made next week, it is recommended that the decision is reversed.

Councillor Hannah O’Neill, cabinet member for housing and regeneration, said: “We never had any intention to end the lease however, we did have to re-negotiate.

“It is very important to us to continue this partnership to ensure the safety of the tenancies for the families settled in this community.”