Flintshire homelessness surges amid cost-of-living crisis
There has been a ‘dramatic increase’ in homelessness across Flintshire, the council’s Housing & Prevention Service has said.
In the last 12 months, the service has seen a significant rise in the number of people seeking help.
The cost-of-living crisis, coupled with the harsh housing market conditions and a lack of affordable housing, has led to an unprecedented demand for services and posed considerable budgetary challenges.
Despite the council and its partners’ efforts to prevent homelessness, the demand for emergency housing is continuously growing putting a strain on resources.
The service aims to prevent homelessness through interventions and support, providing emergency housing and assistance to those where preventative work fails, or where there is no opportunity to prevent someone from becoming homeless.
Addressing the mounting demand on the Housing & Prevention Service, Vicky Clark, Chief Officer for Housing & Communities, stated:
“We provide social housing for people in Flintshire with our housing partners. There is a considerable increase in demand, and we do not have enough homes to meet the needs of people in our communities and those at risk of homelessness.”
She referenced a recent report by the Bevan Foundation, which revealed that only 59 private rental homes were available in Flintshire in February 2023.
None of these were affordable for people solely reliant on universal credit or housing benefits.
Despite the strain, the council said it remains committed to increasing the supply of affordable housing.
Plans to construct more homes are underway, but these “will take time”. The council has said.
Councillor Sean Bibby, Cabinet Member for Housing and Regeneration, added that the council would ensure that housing support and other identified support needs are offered to those at risk of homelessness.
He recognised the significant challenge and emphasised that Flintshire’s situation reflects a broader housing crisis across the UK.
Tools to prevent homelessness range from mediation, tenancy support, budgeting advice, rent rescue packages, to family support.
Cllr Bibby acknowledged the significant cost of these efforts but affirmed the council’s commitment to supporting those in need.
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