CIH Cymru calls for a change in approach in response to rough sleeping statistics
The Welsh Government has today published its latest estimate of the amount of people sleeping rough in Wales. Local authorities estimated that 347 people were sleeping rough across Wales in the two weeks between 15 and 28 October 2018
This is an increase of less than one per cent (two people) compared with the exercise in October 2017 with trends varying across authorities.Local authorities reported 184 emergency bed spaces across Wales. Of these, 33 (18 per cent) were unoccupied and available on the night of the snapshot count.
Reflecting on the new data, Matt Kennedy, policy and public affairs manager at CIH Cymru said: "It is extremely worrying that today’s estimated rough sleepers count in Wales does not suggest any improvement on the situation one year ago. What’s more, the fact that almost a fifth of emergency bed spaces went unoccupied at the time of the count surely means we should be asking serious questions over whether we currently provide emergency support that is able to meet people’s needs.
"Our ‘Perceptions of housing in Wales’ research, carried out through our Tyfu Tai Cymru project found that three quarters of people in Wales believe people sleeping rough should receive help from the government and two thirds believe every citizen should have a safe, affordable place to call home.
"We must work with genuine urgency to not only progress housing and support models, like Housing First, but also address how we meet immediate need using current resources and services to their best effect."
The full report can be accessed here.