Statutory homelessness in Wales is up 58 per cent in a year

The latest homelessness figures from Wales following the introduction of measures to increase prevention work and to help more people provide a bleak picture and a worrying insight for authorities in England, in light of the implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act in 2018.  It is worth noting that despite the overwhelming increase in homelessness, local authorities have achieved continued high levels of preventing homelessness, 62% in year two (slightly below year one) and 60% for single homelessness.

Key points:

  • Data only records people who have been all the way through the system – so not cases that are currently open
  • Applications up 32% in a year
  • Applications from those threatened with homelessness are up 29%
  • Applications from those already homeless are up 58%
  • Councils are doing more casework to deal with homelessness once it’s happened, rather than to prevent it happening in the first place
  • Shelter caseworkers are finding that prevention can be extremely challenging, due to a fatal combination of welfare reform, benefit cap, universal credit and a large number of private landlords either leaving the market or refusing to take on benefit claimants as tenants
  • They are seeing an over-reliance on a narrow set of standard interventions: PRS lists, bond board, pay-offs from prevention funds.

To read the full Shelter blog go to: https://sheltercymru.org.uk/statutory-homelessness-in-wales-is-up-58-per-cent-in-a-year/

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