Posted: Tue 10th Oct 2023

Wales proposes ambitious plans to tackle homelessness

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Oct 10th, 2023

On the backdrop of World Homelessness Day today, Tuesday, October 10, Wales has launched a proactive approach to address its homelessness crisis.

Climate Change Minister Julie James introduced to the Senedd a detailed White Paper, laying out the Welsh Government’s comprehensive strategy to eradicate homelessness in the country.

The blueprint forms a pivotal part of the Programme for Government (2021-2026), coupled with the Co-operation Agreement with Plaid Cymru.

Both emphasise the overarching aim to not just reduce but to end all forms of homelessness in Wales.

The mission? Making homelessness ‘rare, brief and unrepeated’.

Central to this effort is the push for housing law reform, with a spotlight on proactive prevention and early intervention. Proposals within the White Paper include:

  • Identifying and addressing homelessness risks at the earliest possible stage, with a collective responsibility held across the Welsh public service.
  • A shift in focus for Local Housing Authorities, ensuring they deliver services that are person-centric and trauma-informed, placing the needs of the homeless at the forefront.
  • Tailored proposals to assist those most at risk of homelessness.

The White Paper is heavily based on the findings of an Independent Expert Review Panel who were asked to review existing legislation and make recommendations to the Welsh Government.  As part of this review, over 350 people with lived experience of homelessness have shared their views to help develop the proposals.

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.

“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.

Designated Member, Sian Gwenllian added: “This White Paper sets out new proposals to end homelessness so that everyone has a home they can all their own and never finds themselves homeless.

“We are committed to new legal reforms and ways of working that will make a real difference to people’s lives and improve how we support some of the most vulnerable in our society.”

Director of Support at Pobl, Nick Taylor, said: “We welcome the introduction of the White Paper to the Senedd today on World Homelessness Day. As the largest provider of support services in Wales for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, Pobl supports multi-agency working with a preventative trauma informed focus ensuring intervention is received at the earliest opportunity.”

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