The homelessness statistics released today show the continuation of previous trends.
Official homelessness went down during 2014/15 but we know that social housing possessions were high over the same period, with many people facing extreme financial difficulties because of benefit sanctions and other outcomes of welfare reform. The fact is that local authorities were doing a lot of work that wasn’t recorded in the official data – they were carrying out early prevention work and in some cases we know that they were trying to deter people from making homeless applications.
Since the end of April all this has changed with the implementation of Part 2 of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014. Local authorities will be helping many more people than before and recording all that activity too. So we’re looking forward to seeing what the next statistical release looks like – hopefully it will be a more realistic picture of housing need.