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Milton Keynes Homelessness Partnership research highlights the local impact of COVID-19 on the homelessness sector
As the homelessness sector continues to navigate through the challenges presented by the pandemic, the Milton Keynes Homelessness Partnership (MKHP) publishes its inaugural research report. It puts a spotlight on the real impact of COVID-19 across the sector and on people who are homeless or are at risk of homelessness across Milton Keynes.
For the first time, the voices of Milton Keynes’ organisations across the voluntary and statutory sector, together with business speak out, highlighting their concerns and trepidation for the future whilst at the same time harnessing an abundance of optimism on what could be achieved if lessons from the pandemic are learned and acted upon.
Carried out in March and April 2021, a series of in-depth and compelling interviews across the network tested the mood of the sector. The research began to get under the skin of the historical battle in Milton Keynes around homelessness. As relevant now as at the beginning of lockdown, the research compares Milton Keynes to the national picture uncovering unique local issues but also sharing national concerns around welfare payments, eviction bans, and more people beginning to present as homeless.
Tracey McCillen, Chief Executive MKHP says “Hearing the realities from the organisations at the heart of Milton Keynes homelessness sector really does present a compelling story. We need our political leaders locally and nationally to listen, work with us and enable the change that the people of Milton Keynes need and deserve. We need assurances that homelessness will remain front and centre on agendas and that long term investment is available for the sector to enable real and lasting change.”
McCillen continues “Our aspiration is for MKHP to provide a central hub for the homelessness sector in Milton Keynes where insights, data, best practice and knowledge is consolidated and openly shared. The publication of our report today is an important milestone in bringing that aspiration to life.”
The research focused on the pandemics impact on public perceptions; people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and service providers in Milton Keynes. Through personal experiences qualitative and quantitative data, the research tracks Milton Keynes’ journey concluding with ten recommendations:
- Improve cross sector communication
- Maintain and enhance public awareness through a coordinated approach with key messages from the across the sector
- Listen to and learn from people with lived experience
- Create a learning culture, implementing evaluation and monitoring as the norm
- Improve data by establishing a sector wide data framework and joint action plan
- Build on collaborative working by establishing a ‘Charter for Change’
- Influence local systems and policy change
- Focus funding on prevention
- Focus on the wider housing market
- Achieve clarity on future planning
MKHP is a network of organisations who connect to prevent and end homelessness in Milton Keynes. We work to prevent people becoming homeless and help people get and keep a home. MKHP encourages and facilitates innovative ideas on how to end homelessness in MK with a focus on prevention rather than cure. We advocate a person-centred approach to all services for those that are or are at risk of homelessness from medical and wellbeing through to better and truly affordable homes.
This work was made possible by funding received from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund. A wide network of Recognised Partners, local and national organisations contributed to MKHP’s research report, produced on behalf of MKHP by Emma Spring Insight.
You can read the executive summary here.
You can report the full report here.