The number of homeless people in temporary accommodation in Wales rose by 8% between April and October last year, latest figures have revealed. 
AGS News

More than 11,000 people in temporary accommodation in Wales

The number of homeless people in temporary accommodation in Wales rose by 8% between April and October last year, latest figures have revealed. 

A total of 11,273 individuals were in temporary accommodation as of 31 October, compared with 10,444 at the end April, based on provisional figures published by the Welsh government. 

Of the 11,273 total, 3,403 were children under the age of 16, with this figure remaining relatively stable since last April. 

It comes as the Welsh government launched a number of proposed reforms in October aimed at ending homelessness.

The latest figures, which are not official and subject to revision, showed that 3,518 individuals were in B&Bs or hotels, of which 915 were under 16. 

Meanwhile, an estimated 169 people were sleeping rough across Wales as of the end of October, this was up from 144 people the previous month.

Cardiff reported the highest number of rough sleepers (43), followed by Newport (37), Torfaen (13), Pembrokeshire (10) and Swansea (10). 

Separate official figures, covering the year to the end of March 2023, previously showed that 2,187 households in Wales were placed in B&Bs in the period, a 29% rise on the previous year. 

At the same time, 5,481 households were housed in other types of temporary accommodation, an increase of 23% over the same period.

Late last year, Cymorth Cymru and Community Housing Cymru (CHC), which together represent more than 100 charities and housing associations in Wales, called for more government funding to help prevent homelessness.

Rhea Stevens, head of policy and external affairs at CHC, said: “More than 11,200 people, including 3,403 children were living in temporary accommodation as of October 2023. This is simply unacceptable.

“We are in an incredibly worrying situation where we are seeing the impact of the housing crisis while it is still continuing to intensify and gather pace. The numbers are going the wrong way and the crisis is deepening.

“More and more people are in need of secure, affordable and high quality homes. And while housing associations work with others to address the desperate situations people are facing now, we are still missing some of the essential ingredients that will make homelessness rare, brief and unrepeated.

“Housing associations want to do more to help people experiencing homelessness, but our sector and its partners – including local authorities, NHS Wales and other healthcare providers – and the third sector need help to relieve the pressure on them.

“We have a joint ambition in Wales to end homelessness permanently. To do this we need more homes and we also need to invest in prevention now by ensuring there is a sustainable, inflation-linked funding settlement for the Housing Support Grant. We know this is difficult during a crisis, particularly when funding is tight, but together we can improve things for individuals and families and reduce pressures on the NHS and local government.”

A Welsh government spokesperson said: “We continue to take a ‘no one left out approach’ to homelessness so that people are not forced to sleep rough in Wales. 

“We’ve put in place new regulations and additional funding to support this and our wider ambition to end all forms of homelessness.”

Credit Pride in Pill

South Wales Argus