On Wednesday 24th August, 59 tenants’ representatives and 19 Sheltered housing wardens, from Labour-led Milton Keynes Council's 27 schemes came together to discuss how to secure the long term future of sheltered housing across Milton Keynes.
Cllr Nigel Long, Labour Cabinet member for Health and Adult Social care opened the event with a presentation highlighting the value that Milton Keynes Council places on the wonderful sheltered housing schemes across the city. He set out 4 challenges facing sheltered housing for the meeting to consider:
1 How to fund Sheltered Housing?.
2. Can we broaden how we fund it?
3. Can we develop Sheltered housing to serve other older and disabled people in the wider community?
4. What is funding balance between residents, non-residents, Council and partners?
The engagement event saw a lot of discussion and residents came up with a lot of ideas about how best to develop the future of sheltered housing in MK. The top 6 of these are set out below (in no particular order):
- Open up schemes to outside groups
- Improve utilities – reducing costs
- SHO Community visits – providing services to outside agencies
- Paying – everyone to make a contribution
- Charging for the use of the Communal Lounge
- Increase charging for the Guest Rooms
Cllr Long said, “It was a great event, I believe we have started a conversation on how to improve, develop and sustain our highly valued sheltered housing schemes.”
One to One scheme meetings.
Cllr Long gave a commitment to visit schemes to meet with residents as part of the engagement process.
He concluded, “I visited 14 schemes last year. I will try and visit many more over the next 6 months. This Labour-led Council is committed to listening and developing the best way forward for sheltered housing. I would like to thank the tenants and staff for their views. It is really helpful”