Milton Keynes Council's Housing First scheme offers accommodation and support to rough sleepers

A familiar sight in Central Milton Keynes
A familiar sight in Central Milton Keynes

MK Council has introduced an innovative new housing initiative to help rough sleepers get off the streets for good.

Housing First, which has been successfully adopted in other areas of the UK following its creation in North America, offers rough sleepers settled accommodation alongside the offer of intensive client-led support.

Support is offered through a tailored one-to-one programme to help prevent rough sleepers returning to the streets. The programme includes:

Learning independent living skills

Access to health and social care services

Help to maintain a housing tenancy

Assessments for Housing First will be made by the MKC Homelessness Prevention Service with support from other agencies who will be engaging with rough sleepers looking for help. Connections Support will be providing the support function – they will work with 45 people at a time.

Thanks to intervention by MKC, 52 people are currently in accommodation that would otherwise be sleeping rough. They are currently being supporting into settled accommodation. Support will also be provided to those in temporary accommodation whilst they are waiting for a permanent home. MKC has recently increased funding to help rough sleepers.

Pete Marland, Leader of the Council welcomed the news:

“No-one needs to be on the street in MK as our Housing First programme means rough sleepers are offered a home while we work with them on the usually complex reasons they became homeless. By increasing support and accommodation, we’ve helped over 50 people move off the streets this year.”