Homelessness in Wales "set to rise by a third"

10 August 2017, 09:18

homeless man

A report claims homelessness in Wales set to rise by a third in next five years.

Crisis says 5,100 households across Wales are experiencing the worst forms of homelessness, with numbers in Wales set to rise by a third in the next five years unless the Welsh and UK Governments take long-term action to tackle it.

The charity claims its expert analysis provides the most complete picture to-date of the worst forms of homelessness, including rough sleeping and sofa surfing, as well as 25-year forecasts for each category across England, Wales and Scotland.

Launched as part of Crisis's 50th anniversary year and drawing on the most up-to-date sources available, the report estimates that at any one time in 2016 across Wales:
- 300 people slept rough
- 3,100 households* were sofa surfing
- 200 households were living in unsuitable temporary accommodation
- 900 households were living in hostels
- 600 households were living in other circumstances (including squats, women's refuges, winter night shelters, sleeping in tents, cars or public transport).

Drawing on detailed economic modelling, the report warns that if current policies continue unchanged, the most acute forms of homelessness are likely to keep rising, with sofa surfing in Wales expected to rise by nearly half in the next five years (48 per cent) and households in unsuitable temporary accommodation set to double.

The Welsh Government has pledged a number of initiatives to tackle the issue, including to build 20,000 new affordable homes by 2021, and to do more to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place.

Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis, said:

“Regardless of what happens in people's lives, whatever difficulties they face or choices they make, no one should have to face homelessness. With the right support at the right time, it doesn't need to be inevitable. There are solutions, and we're determined to find them and make them a reality.”

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