£675,000 plan to tackle homelessness in Milton Keynes

Milton Keynes Council is set to spend £675,000 on a three year contract to help rough sleepers get and stay in housing.

The Housing First service pilot project, trialled by the council over the last six months, has been hailed a success.

Neil Sainsbury, the council’s head of placemaking, in a report to the council, said the Housing First Support Service pilot had demonstrated “positive outcomes” but that “further support is needed if this success is to be maintained.”

He says that the number of people sleeping rough has “visibly fallen” with the number identified sleeping rough in November 2018 at 41 people.

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.

More people are also being made homeless in the city and Mr Sainsbury says there is a need for the council to continue the work.

Homelessness in MK

Homelessness in MK

Council officers, in a report to Cllr Nigel Long, the cabinet member for housing and regeneration says doing nothing will not help the council’s ambition to eliminate rough sleeping by 2020.

The £225,000 per year option of going out to tender for the service to be provided has the support of local organisations who work with the homeless and are in line with current care and homelessness laws.

“This option is recommended as it ensures the best strategic fit with existing services, with the council’s stated vision and priorities and with national government priorities,” says Mr Sainsbury’s report.

The decision is set to be taken by Cllr Long at a meeting tomorrow evening (Tuesday, February 26).