by craigwhittall on 17 March, 2017
The homelessness crisis continues. In the last year MK Council has housed 687 families, including 1013 children, in temporary accommodation costing over £7.5M! This doesn’t include the dozens of ‘non-statutory’ street homeless.
There is much concern about the Government’s decision to remove Housing Benefit from 18-21 year olds from April. We can expect more teenage street homeless due to this policy as only the Winter Night Shelter takes in homeless people who cannot claim housing benefit, and they only operate over the winter months.
The route of the problem is a severe shortage of social housing, caused by the Government’s policy of selling off Council Houses for over 30 years, and extremely high private rents in MK.
Tackling homelessness and providing more social housing is a top priority for the Liberal Democrats, who have helped push the issue of homelessness up the political agenda and get tackling these issues as priorities for the Council.
The Council are looking at innovative ways to address this and I recently visited an amazing temporary home made from two shipping containers, which had a living room, kitchen are, bedroom and bathroom. There is also a three container version with two bedrooms. The Council plans to have five sites of 66 of these, the first one by November this year. This will be a major step in the right direction, and I am sure a family currently all in one room in Bed & Breakfast out of MK would much prefer one of these.