Welsh Government publishes White Paper on ending homelessness in Wales
The Welsh Government has issued a White Paper setting out how it plans to end homelessness in Wales, by making it “rare, brief and unrepeated”.
The Welsh Government said reforming housing law was a key part of the Programme for Government (2021-2026) and the Co-operation Agreement with Plaid Cymru.
It added that, through legislative reform, supporting guidance and practice, it was aiming to achieve the following:
- The risk of homelessness is prevented at the earliest possible stage and responsibility for identification and prevention is shared across the Welsh public service.
- The local housing authority offer a person centred, trauma informed service that is led by the needs of the client, wherever possible.
- The system will be easier to access and, for those who need it, will offer more co-ordinated, multi-agency support to meet a range of support needs.
- Standards of temporary accommodation on offer will be improved and further improvement will take place over time. Overall use of temporary accommodation will reduce over time.
- We will maximise use of social housing to end homelessness and utilise a range of other options.
- Targeted actions will be taken to improve the experience of those most likely to be affected by homelessness.
The White Paper is based on the findings of an Independent Expert Review Panel who were asked to review existing legislation and make recommendations to the Welsh Government.
The consultation, which runs until 16 January 2024, covers:
- reform of existing core homelessness legislation
- the role of the Welsh public service in preventing homelessness
- targeted proposals to prevent homelessness for those disproportionately affected
- access to housing
Minister for Climate Change Julie James said: “Everyone in Wales should have somewhere to call home and today we’re marking a new chapter to help people remain in their homes and prevent anyone in Wales from experiencing homelessness.
“I would like to thank the Expert Review Panel whose report has helped shape our White Paper. Their recommendations will truly help to end homelessness here in Wales.
“I also want to thank the more than 350 people who shared their own experiences to help shape our reforms and ensure they are grounded in the reality of homelessness.”
The minister added: “This White Paper delivers our long-held view that homelessness is not just a housing issue.
“It sets out a radical and ambitious plan to ensure all services work together to spot the risk of homelessness early and take action to stop it from happening.
“For those who remain at risk, services will be co-ordinated in their response; to ensure the right help is in place, delivered by the right people, at the right time.”