'Ordinary' people now stand a chance of getting a council home in Milton Keynes

For the first time in years, ‘ordinary’ people living in MK stand a change of being awarded a council home.

Young people wishing to move out from their parents’ homes, young couples, and people who cannot afford to rent privately will now all be considered under a radical new allocations policy.

Cllr Nigel Long

Cllr Nigel Long

But there will be a strict criteria that they have been living in Milton Keynes for at least the past three years.

The new policy is to be officially adopted by MK Council this week. It will cover the 12,500 council-owned homes as well as thousands of housing association properties.

By the end of this year, more than 20 available properties will be put online each week and home-seekers will be able to make a bid for them under a new Choice Based Lettings system.

Though the three bands of priority will still apply, with A being those in urgent or medical need, the homes themselves will be classified as A, B or C. And people from each priority group can bid accordingly.

There will also be an income threshold introduced for different sized homes.

For years the council has been criticised for not giving local homes to local people from second and third generation Milton Keynes families. Thousands of people have been stuck on a waiting list for years, with many complaining that properties were being snapped up by up high priority people new to MK.

It is hoped the new system will reduce the number of people who present as homeless as their only option.

Cabinet member for housing Cllr Nigel Long said: “The new allocations method is a return to the old fashioned ways of councils.

“I want to see greater support for older people so that their children can access to housing in the area where they grew up. This will help build care and support for ageing parents. It helps build community cohesion."

Cllr Long added: The new housing allocation policy has been given strong support in the consultation with residents and partners. It will give priority to Milton Keynes residents with the greatest need. It also lays the ground for the move to Choice Based Lettings.

“We will be developing local lettings priorities so that we can get a balance between meeting housing need and the long term sustainability of local communities."