CIH Cymru calls on the Welsh Government to be brave in face of ONS homeless deaths statistics
'Today's figures make for incredibly grim reading'
Figures released today by the Office for National Statistics have revealed there were an estimated 13 deaths of homeless people in Wales in 2017 (597 across England and Wales), responding to the figures Chartered Institute of Housing Cymru Director Matt Dicks said:
“Today’s figures make for incredibly grim reading. One person dying on our streets is one too many, to reflect that there has been 13 deaths in Wales should be a wake-up call for us all. Whilst the funding announced by Julie James AM yesterday is clearly attempting to reduce the risk to those found rough sleeping we must encourage the government to be braver in implementing longer term solutions. In practice this must mean increasing investment in housing-related support services that truly seek to find person-centred solutions.
We also cannot afford to ignore the forces which profoundly impact some of the most vulnerable individuals in society - chronic shortage of affordable homes in Wales combined with the welfare reforms introduced since 2012 has created a toxic mix. To truly get to the root of the problem, the Welsh Government must, through the affordable housing review come forward with truly progressive recommendation to address this shortage and work closely with the UK government to address the cumulative impact of welfare reforms like the benefit cap, universal credit and the housing benefit freeze for private renters.”
Notes to editors:
The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards. Our goal is simple – to provide housing professionals with the advice, support and knowledge they need to be brilliant. CIH is a registered charity and not-for-profit organisation. This means that the money we make is put back into the organisation and funds the activities we carry out to support the housing sector. We have a diverse membership of people who work in both the public and private sectors, in 20 countries on five continents across the world. For more information visit: www.cih.org