Welsh minister pledges action on homelessness
The housing minister in Wales has outlined the Welsh Government’s commitment to tackling homelessness.
Huw Lewis said the forthcoming housing white paper would examine more effective use of the private rented sector to house people who approach councils as homeless.
Homelessness in Wales hit a five year high in December, when statistics from the Welsh Government showed that more households were accepted as homeless by their local authority than at any point since June 2006.
‘We are intent on more action to prevent homelessness in the first place,’ Mr Lewis told assembly members yesterday (1 May).
‘Homelessness is an extreme form of social exclusion, which can undermine every other aspect of life to which our citizens aspire. We want everyone to have a decent home they can afford.’
Mr Lewis blamed cuts to welfare benefits from Westminster for the increase in homelessness, and warned more people would be made homeless. The Welsh Government is providing local authorities with £1.4 million over two years to mitigate the impact of the cuts to housing benefit, with additional funding to Shelter Cymru to raise awareness of the changes and increase access to independent advice.
Mr Lewis promised there would be ‘other action’ to help people who are made homeless in the white paper.