New £650,000 accommodation opens in Aylesbury to support rough sleepers

“This is the best help I have had since I became homeless", one new resident stated

Thursday, 16th December 2021, 5:23 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th December 2021, 5:24 pm

New accommodation is now being used to house rough sleepers in Aylesbury.

Housebuilders, Hightown Housing Association, has overseen the operation which was launched with funding from Bucks Council that was allocated by the government.

Nine self-contained, one bedroom flats on Ardenham Lane House are now being used to home people looking for permanent accommodation.

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Current resident, Reece

One resident, Reece said: “This is the best help I have had since I became homeless and it has made all the difference. I hope everyone who is homeless gets a chance to stay at a place like this where staff genuinely want to help. I'm very grateful for all the support I've received and I hope to move into my own place once I'm ready to move on."

Lots of rough sleepers in Aylesbury face uncertain futures after the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities' 'everyone in' scheme ended in October.

A grant from Bucks Council worth £650,000 made the project possible. It falls under the new government 'next steps accommodation programme'.

David Bogle, Hightown’s chief executive, said: “Hightown was formed over 50 years ago with a social purpose to provide housing and support to local people at risk of becoming homeless.

Councillors, Hightown staff and government officials at Ardenham Lane House

"Our commitment to that social purpose remains as strong as ever and I'm delighted Hightown is working in partnership with Buckinghamshire Council and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to run our first homeless service in Buckinghamshire to help people end the cycle of rough sleeping. I wish the residents all the best for the future."

Hightown advises that each flat has all the basics residents will need to live comfortably.

The homebuilder is also providing extensive support, tailored to each individual’s personal circumstances in collaboration with council and local support services.

Councillor Mark Winn said: "Buckinghamshire Council’s priority is to ensure we virtually eliminate rough sleeping.

"This includes the provision of appropriate supported housing to meet the needs of residents who have previously found themselves homeless.

"We are delighted to be working in partnership with Hightown and the Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities to deliver high quality, safe supported housing at Ardenham House to meet the needs of these residents.

"It was great for me to personally hear about the fantastic work taking place in partnership with Hightown in Ardenham House, one of several supported housing schemes in place to help homeless people across Buckinghamshire.

"It was hugely encouraging to meet residents such as Reece, to hear for myself about the support that is being offered to ensure lives can be turned around and individuals can support themselves in accommodation. Our ultimate aim is to ensure that no one in Buckinghamshire is sleeping on our streets."