Latest Welsh homelessness statistics 'reflect worrying picture'

By agency reporter
March 25, 2019

The Welsh Government has released its homelessness statistics covering the period from October 2018 – December 2018. The statistics show that:

  • 2,649 households were threatened with homelessness within 56 days. This is the second highest figure (after the previous quarter) since the introduction of this legislation.
  • In over two thirds of all cases (67 per cent), homelessness was successfully prevented. The quarterly prevention rates have fluctuated within the 65 per cent to 69 per cent range since April 2017.
  • Almost 3,000 households were homeless and owed a duty to help in securing accommodation. This is the highest number since the introduction of the new legislation.
  • The number of households in temporary accommodation was the second highest to date at 2,139 households. The private rented sector continued to be the main form of temporary accommodation used (38 per cent).
  • 270 households were in bed and breakfast accommodation. This was an increase of 58 per cent on the previous year.  Of these, 30 households were families with children compared with the 12 households recorded a year earlier.

Commenting on the statistics, the national director of CIH Cymru, Matt Dicks, said: “Today’s statistics shed a worrying light on the nature of our homelessness challenge. The pressure on social housing supply means that in practice there is an ongoing reliance on the private rented sector and a growing trend in the use of bed and breakfast accommodation, particularly for families with children.

"None of us would desire to live in such an uncertain form of accommodation which ultimately leaves individuals and families in limbo as housing officers work tirelessly to identify a suitable long-term housing solution. 

"We urge Welsh Government to provide support for private sector landlords as they continue their role working with local authorities in this way; engage readily with local authorities to gain a comprehensive understanding of the pressures limited resources may be causing at the front line; and accelerate the roll out and exploration of innovative housing solutions, such as Housing First.”

* Read the statistical release Homelessness: October to December 2018 here

* Chartered Institute of Housing http://www.cih.org/

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