National conversation needed about the value of social housing

// HA News

Responding to the Crisis report that estimates homelessness in Wales will grow by a third in the next five years CIH Cymru highlighted the ongoing impact of welfare reform, and called for a national conversation about the value and purpose of social housing.

Matt Dicks, director of CIH Cymru said “It is unacceptable that in such a wealthy society such as ours, we have so many people who are forced to live on the streets or live in unsuitable accommodation because they are unable to afford or access the most basic of human rights – a safe and warm place to call home.

"Today’s report from Crisis once again highlights the staggering scale of the problem. CIH Cymru recognises the commitment that the Welsh Government has made to prioritising housing, and tackling homelessness, through recent legislation and ambitious targets to build new affordable homes. We also welcome the Cabinet Secretary’s announcement this week of an additional £2.1million of funding to tackle youth homelessness.

"But clearly much, much more needs to be done.

"We hear claims from some European countries that they have almost eradicated street homelessness – bold claims indeed. But they can evidence that claim. They have taken radical approaches to tackling the issue. It involves increased collaboration and co-operation across not only the housing sector, but with health, education and welfare services - the whole gambit of the public sector.

"As a result of recent legislation in Wales, local authority homelessness teams and their partners continue to take positive action, working closely with individuals to prevent them losing their home. But other pressures are outside our control in Wales. The pressure on those in social housing, those just about managing, is only set to increase through further changes to the welfare system.

We believe it is time for a national conversation about the value and purpose of social housing in both the context of homelessness and more broadly within society. We look forward to working with our members to help stimulate this debate with the Welsh Government, politicians and local decision-makers.”

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