Motion on housing carried at meeting of 22 March 2017
That this Council acknowledges that:
(a)there is significant pressure on housing in Milton Keynes;
(b)the current continuing increase in the number of families in temporary accommodation are those who the Council has a legal duty to house and the associated cost of temporary accommodation is
primarily due to the lack of supply in Housing Revenue Account properties; and
(c)the only sustainable solution to this problem is to build more homes that are affordable to those on all incomes and suitable for families in temporary accommodation, street homeless, young people living with parents, those in need of social and affordable housing to rent or buy and private renters who would like to purchase their own home.
2. That the Council notes that:
(a)for the foreseeable future, lifting the Housing Revenue Account debt cap is not a means of funding new homes;
(b)councils, including Labour run councils, have developed successful ways of building new homes financed via the general fund, private investment, or a combination of both; and
(c)some councils have set up their own Housing Company, or a Joint Venture, or partner with a Housing Association; there are many successful models out there.
3. That the Council further notes and endorses the policy of the Administration to operate more commercially, to be innovative and to progress new revenue streams.
4. That the Council therefore requests Cabinet to embrace the learnings from other councils and come forward urgently with proposals to build a significant number of new homes on Council land, combining a mix of housing types for rent (social, affordable, market rents) drawing on
all available funding sources.
5. That this Council agrees to:
(a)support the building and acquisition of new Council and social housing, using all legal options possible, with a view to addressing the housing shortage while ensuring a mix of supply to meet all needs;
(b)explore all options for achieving such an outcome except for the privatisation of existing Council stock;
(c)explore co-operative and tenant led models of housing supply;
(d)support the cross-party Local Government Association’s position of:
(i)remove the cap on the ability of the Council to borrow through the Housing Revenue Account be build Council owned properties;
(ii) end the freeze on the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) which is a major contributing factor in rising homelessness;
(iii) allow the Council to retain 100% of receipts, without condition, from the sale of Council houses for reinvestment;
(e)urge and support the two MPs for Milton Keynes to publicly support Milton Keynes Council’s and the Local Government Association’s position and campaign accordingly.