Housing (Wales) Act 2014 - Homelessness
A report showing how Flintshire County Council is supporting the reduction of
homelessness will be discussed by Cabinet Members on Tuesday (18 July).
The Housing (Wales) Act 2014 introduced new homeless legislation in April
The homeless service in Flintshire was restructured to maximise capacity,
however, there has been an increase in the numbers of households seeking
assistance and the service is forecasting additional pressures due to a
combination of factors, including the roll out of Universal Credit which will
see more families facing financial hardship and needing assistance.
Flintshire is proposing a number of new services to manage homelessness in the
County. These include proposals to avoid any rough sleeping.
Flintshire County Council Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Bernie
“The Council is committed to preventing homelessness, as we have shown through
the extensive work we have undertaken. We will continue this work. We go
beyond our statutory duty and provide interim accommodation for anyone who has
nowhere to stay, irrespective of their priority need status.
“Our transition funding allocation from Welsh Government to support the
implementation of the new legislation is reduced to £130,000 this year, and we
expect that this will be the last year additional funding is available. I’m
pleased to say that Flintshire was commended by Shelter Cymru on how it is
using this funding. However there are a number of national challenges and
external pressures, including welfare reform and decreasing budgets, which are
making our work more challenging.”
Flintshire County Council Leader, Councillor Aaron Shotton, said:
“Housing has long been a priority for Flintshire. On top of the current work
being done, we want to explore a completely different approach which aims to
reduce some of the trauma of homelessness. Housing First is a different
approach that aims to end the use of temporary accommodation by rethinking how
we deal with homelessness altogether.
“Our proposal is to develop a ‘Housing First’ scheme in partnership with social
landlords, and support services. The availability of accommodation means that
this will only be a suitable solution in limited cases but could play a
significant role in preventing homelessness, B&B stay and unnecessary moves for
vulnerable single people or families with children.”
Housing First is a model that has been used widely in Canada, the USA and some
countries in Europe for people with medium and high support needs and has
proven to be effective in terms of people sustaining their accommodation and
reducing their use of temporary accommodation, emergency health, prison and
The Housing First Model on a small scale could be implemented within existing
resources in Housing. If implemented successfully this initiative can reduce
pressure on statutory services by reducing hospital admissions, custodial
sentences, costs of mental health and drug and alcohol services as well as
reduced evictions and temporary accommodation costs.