'Urgent action needed to address rough sleeping problem.'
Latest figures on rough sleeping in Wales highlight the need for urgent action, says CIH Cymru director Matt Dicks.
Today the Welsh Government released the rough sleeping statistics gathered by local authorities in Wales during October 2017 and a one night count during November 2017. The statistics reflect that:
• Local authorities estimated that 345 persons were sleeping rough across Wales in the 2 weeks between 16th and 29th October 2017. This is an increase of 10 per cent (32 persons) compared with the exercise carried out in October 2016.
• Local authorities reported 188 individuals observed sleeping rough across Wales between 10pm on the 9th and 5am on 10th November 2017. This was an increase of a third (47 persons) on the previous year.
• Local authorities reported 233 emergency bed spaces across Wales. Of these, 42 (18 per cent) were unoccupied and available on the night of the snapshot count. In 10 local authorities reporting rough sleepers on the night of the count there were no unoccupied, available emergency bed spaces.
Responding to the announcement Matt Dicks, director of CIH Cymru, said:
"Today's rough sleeping statistics capture a worrying snapshot of the situation in Wales. Whilst measures brought in under the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 has improved the response to preventing homelessness, for those rough sleeping the approach is clearly falling short.
"Rough sleeping is a societal issue, an issue which we must all seek to address together, in partnership with people who find themselves in seemingly hopeless circumstances. We must respond with real urgency, across politics, support services and sectors to meet the challenge head-on.
"This should include exploring the roll-out of Housing First projects to provide people first and foremost, with a safe place to live; ensuring the protection of the supporting people budget in Wales; and ensuring local authorities are fully supported to find innovative, person-centred housing solutions."