Milton Keynes Council to form its OWN COMPANY to build 2,000 'affordable' homes

MK Council is planning to set up its own housing company to build 2,000 “truly affordable” homes for people to rent or buy, the Citizen can reveal.

Tuesday, 30th July 2019, 3:19 pm
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The 'private' company will be owned and managed by the council, and tenants will have the same security and rights.

There will, however be strictly no right to buy concessions.

The move was revealed this week by Cabinet member for housing Cllr Nigel Long in the midst of the city's severe housing crisis.

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But the details of how the new MK Council housing company will be run and financed are so far vague, and Cllr Long would not be drawn on how much the houses would cost to buy or where they will be built.

He said: “The company will be providing a range of properties at different prices and different rent levels.... It will be council only owned and not a partnership venture.”

Currently 800 Milton Keynes households are homeless and living in temporary accommodation, while many more second and third generation Mk residents are desperately waiting for a council home of their own.

Cllr Long said: “Even more families are living in insecure private rented housing and private landlords are making millions from high rents. Evictions from private landlords are the biggest source of homelessness in Milton Keynes.

“There is a lack of truly affordable, secure housing. Thousands of in work families struggle to pay high private landlord rents and mortgages.”

The council's “vision” is to provide good quality but truly affordable housing that meets everyone’s needs, said Cllr Long.

He said a 12 week public consultation will now be launched about the new council-owned housing company as part of the borough's overall housing strategy for the future.

The overall strategy aims to bring the council together with partners such as housing associations, developers and Homes England to address the housing crisis.

Cllr Long said: ":The new Housing strategy will start to end the affordable housing crisis facing Milton Keynes, making secure high quality housing the choice for all residents of Milton Keynes as our new city grows.”

The news that the new housing company will not be a partnership may come as a relief to some people.

Two years ago MK council set up Your MK in a partnership with private housing and social care company Mears.The aim was to regenerate seven rundown estate and build new homes to finance the work.But earlier this year Your MK was stripped of its powers by the council, because it was “not good enough” in the way it handled regeneration.

The regeneration scheme itself has since been scrapped.