Welsh Government
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Wales carves out new direction on homelessness

Homelessness remains a problem across the UK and Wales is no different. However, while numbers of households accepted as homeless by English local authorities have been rising, those accepted by Welsh local authorities have been falling despite the implementation of welfare reform and cuts in budgets.

The Welsh Government is building on its past work with local authorities and other organisations. It is committed to an even greater emphasis on preventing homelessness in the first place and to helping more people who find themselves without a home.

The Housing (Wales) Bill was recently introduced by Housing and Regeneration Minister Carl Sargeant, and sets out proposals for a significantly different, and better approach on homelessness.

Mr Sargeant said,

“For the first time, the proposals in the Housing Bill put the prevention of homelessness on a robust statutory footing. This new duty will help local authorities to be even more proactive in preventing homelessness. The Bill will also do more to ensure that partner organisations such as housing associations and third sector organisations work closely with local authorities to help people who are at risk of homelessness.

“These measures are in contrast to elsewhere in the UK, where the focus of legislation is on providing assistance to people in priority groups when they are homeless, rather than preventing homelessness wherever possible.

“Our new legislation is another example of what we are doing to ensure that Wales is a better place to live. Making a difference to people’s lives is at the heart of it and it will result in more help for more people before they reach this crisis point, thus preventing homelessness and all its associated social problems.”

The Bill will result in

  • more help for households who receive limited assistance under the current legislation,
  • more informed choice for all households who are homeless, and
  • a greater emphasis on co-operation and multi agency working