Council B&B usage halves in a year

    Milton Keynes Council has more than halved the number of families placed in Bed and Breakfast accommodation over the last 12 months.

    There are currently 73 families in the Bed and Breakfast style accommodation, compared to 153 in February 2016.

    In addition, MK Council and YourMK are working together to reduce the number further.  In April, 29 new units at Orchard House in Wolverton will become a base for families while they seek permanent homes – part of ongoing work to secure more homes within the borough for people needing help. The accommodation, a former sheltered housing facility, has been refitted and refurbished by YourMK to provide high quality homes for Milton Keynes families.
    The cost of housing a family in B&B accommodation, including travel costs for any children eligible for transport to school, can be up to £90 per night.  The reduction means the Council has saved around £3m on B&B costs.

    However the number of people the Council is helping to find a temporary home has almost doubled over the same period.  687 MK families are currently in temporary accommodation including B&B, Council owned properties and others rented from private landlords - this will cost the Council £7.5m this year. 

    Cllr Nigel Long, Cabinet Member responsible for tackling homelessness said “Getting everyone out of B&B is our goal.  It’s always a last resort as other types of accommodation are better for families and cheaper for the Council, but it’s one we’ve had to rely on in the absence of other options in the past.  Using Orchard House means those 29 families can stay local, which we know helps people travel to work and get their children to school more easily.

    “Sadly, the number of people seeking accommodation is much greater than the supply of homes, which is why we’re building new Council houses and working with developers and landlords to make as many affordable flats and houses available within MK as possible.”

    David Gleeson, Managing Director of YourMK, said: "We are very proud to be able to work with the Council to further reduce the number of MK families in B&B and save public money. This is the first of many initiatives and partnership schemes that will deliver a real difference for Milton Keynes."

    MK Council’s Council Plan for 2016-2020 includes a target to reduce the use of B&B accommodation by 75% by the end of the period.

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