The Progressive Alliance has reaffirmed its commitment that nobody has to sleep rough in Milton Keynes following the news that yesterday was the hottest day on record.
Milton Keynes Council has been working on several successful initiatives to tackle rough sleeping including the recent launch of the shelter at the old bus station, which provides overnight accommodation for up to 18 people who would otherwise be sleeping rough.
The Council has also brought together vital services at the city centre shelter, including drug and alcohol support, employment support, housing services, and voluntary services provided by local charity the Winter Night Shelter.
Those who visit the old bus station are then moved into temporary accommodation or supported with alternative accommodation.
Councillor Emily Darlington, Labour Progressive Alliance Cabinet Member with responsibility for homelessness, said:
“Just a few years ago, Milton Keynes was being called tent city because of the Conservative government’s appalling record on housing and homelessness. We then pledged to end rough-sleeping, and we have. However, issues surrounding homelessness and rough sleeping are often complex and the Council is aware of around 4 or 5 individuals who currently don’t wish to engage with the homelessness service right now. We are doing regular welfare checks to ensure they are okay, and we will not give up on anyone.”
The Council also provides support for those at risk of homelessness, including advice and help with private renting.
Councillor Robin Bradburn, Lib Dem Deputy Leader of the Council, added:
“Rough sleepers are homeless, but not all homeless people are rough sleepers. In Milton Keynes we have seen a frightening correlation between the number of no-fault evictions, or Section 21 notices, and the number of families presenting themselves as homeless to our temporary accommodation team.
“The Government’s continuous lack of effort to ban these cruel evictions has seen far too many families lose their homes. We welcome the news that these inhumane Section 21s will finally be abolished but it should have come sooner. There are far too many families who have suffered as a result.”