Local charity The Bus Shelter MK has recently increased its capacity and can now provide a temporary home for up to 21 people who would otherwise be sleeping on the streets of Milton Keynes.
The charity has offered nine bedrooms at George House in Stantonbury, the replacement for their original converted bus, since early 2021. During 2022 three ‘move-on’ houses have been leased, providing a further 12 bedrooms.
These additional 12 bedrooms provide a smooth transition for guests as they move from street homelessness onto independent living.
The first ‘move on’ house was leased in March 2022 and following the successful first few months of operation, a second property followed in August and a third recently acquired.
These houses provide an interim step for guests who may be excluded from a direct move into private rented accommodation, or find the prospect too daunting.
“Over the years we’ve faced many challenges in trying to find suitable and affordable long term accommodation for guests in the highly competitive Milton Keynes property rental market.” Pam Williams, Chair of The Bus Shelter MK explains.
“Our ‘move-on’ houses are a great stepping stone and a way for our guests to demonstrate they will be good tenants to prospective future landlords. The houses also provide an extension of the community and support enjoyed at George House and make the transition to independence less overwhelming.”
The guests have been keen to get involved in setting up the houses and their help has been invaluable; everything from waiting in for deliveries and tackling the many boxes of flat pack furniture.
Living in one of the ‘move-on’ houses for up to twelve months will demonstrate to future landlords that someone who has experienced a period of homelessness, often through no fault of their own, will make a good tenant who will pay rent and be proud to look after their home.
They hope this will break down prejudices and increase the options available for securing an independent home in the future.
As one of the guests at the first ‘move on’ house said, “I am so grateful to The Bus Shelter MK. It is wonderful to have tomorrows, not just worries about today.”