A council housing boom for would-be city tenants?
Hundreds of much-needed new council houses could be provided all over Milton Keynes over the next ten years, the Citizen can reveal.
Some will be new houses built on unused patches of land on existing estates by the Regenerate MK scheme.
Others will be existing houses bought back by the council from private owners on estates.
Already 40 such homes have been earmarked for purchase. Ironically most of them were built originally as council houses then purchased under the Government’s right to buy scheme over the years.
More affordable rent and council homes will come through Milton Keynes Development Partnership.
This was set up by the council to develop plans for around 800 hectares of city land purchased for £32 million from the Housing and Communities Agency.
This week the latest MKDP business plan revealed proposals for 5,000 new homes at Campbell Park, Walton, and Atterbury.
It also includes a scheme to bulldoze the old Wyevale Garden Centre at CMK and build a hotel and leisure complex.
The business plan aims to provide ongoing income for the council – and much of this could be through rental from houses. Some 1,500 of the new MKDP homes will be classed as affordable housing for lower-income families. And dozens could even be let directly by the council as council housing.
Currently MK council owns just 11,500 homes. Though the council has a duty to help the homeless immediately, people classed as non-homeless applicants face an extremely long wait before they are allocated a property.
Cabinet member responsible for housing, Councillor Edith Bald, said: “We need more affordable homes. We are looking at every option to achieve this. We will apply for every grant and incentive available.
“Financing the new influx of affordable housing will require an innovative approach, but as the council and MKDP own the land this opens up a number of options,” she said.
Ms Bald added: “I would also like to see an increase in the proportion of shared ownership housing avaialble as well as a range of rental options.”