Rough sleepers must go to council offices NOW to get emergency accommodation before tonight's big freeze

Every rough sleeper in Milton Keynes has been promised emergency accommodation for the next few nights by MK Council.

Thursday, 12th January 2017, 5:47 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th January 2017, 5:47 pm
The homeless man helped by Laura and Jemma Fullthorpe

Because temperatures are due to drop below zero, the council is legally obliged to activate its Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP).

Council leader Peter Marland has promised that all rough sleepers will be given a roof over their heads providing they can get to the council housing office or civic offices tonight.

“We have a legal obligation to do this during periods of severe weather,” he told the Citizen

Earlier this week housing Cabinet member Nigel Long admitted the true number of rough sleeps in MK was probably around 200.

Some 15 of these are currently being housed by the Winter Night Shelter Project - which leaves the council with 185 more to house.

Pete said: “We’ll find spaces somehow. We’ll use hostels, flats in Luton, B&Bs and hotels if necessary.”

But he warned that the SWEP protocol only applies when temperatures drop below zero for three nights or more.

As soon as the weather improves, sadly the homeless will be back on the streets.

Everybody turning up at the civic offices will need to be assessed as a genuine rough sleeper before they are given accommodation.

Anybody who could get there before 5pm can still access an out of hours service as the building will be manned all night. Or people can call the duty housing officer on 01908 311773 or 01908 226699.