Homeless man sleeping on the street

World Homelessness Day marked by big step in Wales

Marking World Homelessness Day today, the Welsh Climate Change Minister is to introduce a new White Paper that lays out how Wales can end homelessness.

Reforms to housing law form a key part of both the current Programme for Government, and the Welsh Government’s Co-operation Agreement with Plaid Cymru that sees collaboration to end all forms of homelessness in Wales. The proposals that are being set out today focus on improving prevention and early intervention, by introducing a package of reforms that will alter homelessness and housing systems in Wales.

The Welsh Government will use legislative reform to bring about the following:

  • Preventing the risk of homelessness at the earliest possible stage, whilst sharing the responsibility for identification and prevention across the Welsh public service.
  • Local Authorities offering a person-centred, trauma-informed service that will focus on the needs of the people that are facing homelessness.
  • The people that are at most risk of being impacted by homelessness will benefit from proposals that are bespoke and aimed at mitigating their personal risk.

The publication of the White Paper follows an Independent Expert Review Panel, who were asked to review the existing legislation and make recommendations, with the White Paper being heavily based on these findings. More than 350 people with lived experience of homelessness also shared their views on the proposals to help with development.

Julie James, Minister for Climate Change, 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.”

Ending Homelessness in Wales Document Cover

Designated Member, Sian Gwenllian, added:

“This white Paper sets out new proposals to end homelessness so that everyone has a home they can call 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.”

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Image credit: iStock

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