Council leader Peter Marland challenges city MP to 'come clean' over housing money

    The Leader of Milton Keynes Peter Marland has accused local MP Mark Lancaster of misleading the public in relation to new housing money announced by Prime Minister Theresa May last week.

    The news comes after the Prime Minister asked local councils to bid for a share in £2 billion of funding to build new Council houses. City MP Mark Lancaster then called upon the Council to put in a bid via local media.

    The £2billion fund will cover a five year period, with a maximum of £80,000 per property subsidy available to successful bidders.

    But local Labour figures have said this money would fund just 5,000 new homes per year across the country, with each Council only getting around 15 new homes per year.

    Commenting on the housing news, MK Council Leader Peter Marland said: “Whilst £2bn sounds a lot, [it is not that much] when spread across the country with both councils and housing associations bidding. If we received the maximum money, we would get around 15 new houses per year. Yet last Friday we had 737 households in temporary accommodation."

    "Fifteen new homes a year will not address the housing supply crisis facing Milton Keynes. We need the MPs to stop playing politics and support the removal of the cap on the Councils ability to borrow to invest in new Council housing. They have consistently refused to do this.”    

    The local Labour party also claims that the Council is set to lose £2.3million in funding this year, with more losses in future years as a result of Government cuts to the funding of people in temporary accommodation.

    They have also said that Milton Keynes Council has written to both the Housing Minister and the two MPs about this loss of funding.

    City MPs Mark Lancaster and Iain Stewart said: "It is disappointing to see Labour continuing to try and score political points when it comes to such an important issue. We have made it very clear we want to work together with all stakeholders when it comes to solving homelessness and rough sleeping. We make no apologies for encouraging the Council to bid for every potential funding stream available, they have the power to do that and should do that. We continue to lobby the Government and have recently requested a meeting with the Housing Minister. We have set our four point plan focused on working together, we hope as a city we can do that."

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