The new homelessness statistics show that local authorities in Wales are still managing to successfully prevent homelessness for the majority of households, despite increased workloads.
We are also pleased to see that some authorities have listened to us and are managing to reduce the numbers of people found not homeless or threatened with homelessness. Previously we raised concerns that people who were in fact facing homelessness were being wrongly placed in this category, because authorities were assisting them outside the legal framework.
This quarter it’s clear that many authorities have made progress in this area. However, numbers are still too high in some authorities, with up to 58 per cent of people still being found not homeless. We urge those authorities to continue to work to address this. The whole ethos of the Housing (Wales) Act is about ensuring that people are helped within the statutory framework, because this gives them a right to a quality service – something they can’t rely on if they are being assisted unofficially.
Ultimately, it should be the service users themselves who are best placed to judge whether homelessness prevention is working or not. This is crucial information that isn’t covered in the official statistics.