£675,000 plan to help rough sleepers in Milton Keynes is approved

A provider is now being sought to run a Milton Keynes service to support former rough sleepers on the journey to rebuilding their lives.

Milton Keynes Council’s cabinet member for housing and regeneration, Cllr Nigel Long, on Tuesday agreed to start a competitive tender process to find the provider.

Homeless in Milton Keynes

Homeless in Milton Keynes

The contract will be worth a total of £675,000 over three years and will involve supporting people previously sleeping rough in Milton Keynes to stay permanently in housing.

“Homelessness is a top priority for this council,” said Cllr Long. “We did a six month pilot of the Housing First service supporting people to come off the streets.

“Just giving someone accommodation is not the answer. There’s no point in giving accommodation if they can’t secure the tenancy. Housing First will give support to tenancies so they can start to rebuild their lives.”

Some 71 rough sleepers were housed and supported during the six month trial but their need for support to improve quality of their lives and prevent relapse continues, a report to Cllr Long said.

“If I am honest, I am not a great fan of tendering,” said Cllr Long. “I would have preferred some partnership arrangement but we are where we are and I think it’s a great way forward.

“It will lead to, hopefully, a continuation of excellent support. Once they are off the streets we are working to make sure they do not go back to the streets.”