‘Is this my summer of discon-tent?’ - Milton Keynes homeless man faces eviction

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A homeless man who has lived in a tent for seven months has received the final insult – an eviction notice from the council to quit his hedgerow pitch.

James Dakin was given a 28-day order to pack up his makeshift home at the side of a redway and threatened with court if he does not comply.

“Please help me. I don’t know what to do and I’m at my wits end,” the 27-year-old told the Citizen.

He says the council has refused to find him an alternative place to live – because he had never registered as homeless in the first place.

“I bought the tent at the beginning of the year and didn’t bother telling the council because I didn’t think I had any chance of getting a house.

“ I’m quite happy in living the way I do. It’s only a tent but to me it’s home,” he said.

Before moving under canvas James was one of the hundreds of hidden homeless who ‘sofa surf’ at friends’ houses all over the city.

With his dog as company, duvets donated by charity and a one ring gas stove to cook on, he camped in various fields until his budget price tent became worn out and started leaking.

“The answer was to live under a bridge so I could be sheltered from rain. I found the perfect spot at the side of the redway between Giffard Park and Great Linford,” he said.

“I’m hidden in the bushes and I’m not a problem to anybody. I couldn’t believe it when the council gave me the eviction notice. I asked them if they could find me somewhere else to live and they said they couldn’t help.”

Now, with his 28 day notice expiring this week, James has registered as homeless.

A council spokesman said: “Mr Dakin is now registered with us for housing and temporary accommodation is available until we can offer a more settled home.”

But the spokesman admitted there was “no guarantee” that James could be housed.