Bid for 596 new council houses to be built in Milton Keynes
A request to build almost 600 brand new council houses in Milton Keynes has this week been made to the government.
MK Council submitted a formal bid to on Friday to build 596 homes on sites dotted across the borough to help tackle rising homelessness and housing demand.
The government is seeking bids to remove the cap on investment from local councils facing “severe” housing problems.
Councillor Nigel Long, Cabinet Member for Housing and Regeneration said, “Milton Keynes certainly faces a severe housing problem. There are nearly 600 homeless families in temporary accommodation, hundreds more struggling to pay excessive rents in the private rented sector and even more still living at home with parents.”
He added: “We want to build new council houses as part of the next stage in offering truly affordable housing to low and middle income households.
“We aim to restore choice and security for young families and to households unable to afford high rents.”
The demand for homes is currently so high that the council has resorted to buying dozens of properties from the private market to house people in need.
Labour blame the crisis on the government cap, which limits how much the council can invest - even though its housing account is “financially stable” and can afford the outlay.
Mr Long said: “We are committed to tackling housing need across the borough. We hope the government agrees to remove their arbitrary cap... It will be shameful f the government refuses to allow a well-run housing service to invest.”
Milton Keynes Council owns 12,500 properties. It once owned thousands more but the stock dwindled over the years due to tenants’ right to buy their rented homes.