William Eichler 09 January 2018

Welsh councils must tackle causes of homelessness, watchdog says

Welsh councils must tackle causes of homelessness, watchdog says image

Local authorities in Wales need to do more to tackle the ‘underlying causes’ of homelessness, auditor says.

In order to deal with the growing homelessness crisis, the Welsh government introduced the Housing Act (2014) which requires local authorities and their partners to focus specifically on prevention. It also provided more funding for implementation.

A new report from the Auditor General for Wales looking at the implementation of these new duties has concluded that councils are making progress - but still need to do more to deal with what makes people homeless in the first place.

The report found the changes needed to reduce much of the demand for services and prevent homelessness are ‘not always happening’.

Authorities need to equip their staff with new skills and different ways of working, it said, but this was only happening effectively in some councils.

The Auditor also found that despite the additional funding, some authorities have not reviewed their services to prevent homelessness. This means people in Wales get very different help, depending on where they live.

More needs to be done to reduce the overall demand for services by tailoring services to deal with people much earlier especially in education, social care and other services, the report concludes.

Auditor General, Huw Vaughan-Thomas said today: ‘My report today highlights that despite the positive intentions of the Welsh government to prevent homelessness, local authorities continue to focus on managing people in crisis rather than stopping them getting into crisis in the first place.

‘To truly prevent homelessness public bodies need to take a long-term view and work with other organisations to really tackle the issues that cause homelessness.

‘This requires a focus on, for example, better educational attainment, access to employment, well planned transition when leaving care and access to welfare benefits.’

It’s party time image

It’s party time

Paul Marinko tries to help the sector navigate the web of policy commitments for local government on offer after 12 December.
Collaboration is the key to tackling homelessness image

Collaboration is the key to tackling homelessness

With the support of stakeholders, including forward-thinking local authorities, Beam’s innovative support model ‘swiftly removes every barrier faced by homeless people from entering the workforce’, says Seb Barker.
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Trainee Craft Employee x6

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£18,795 - £19,945 per annum
Seeking to recruit several Trainee Carpenters within the Asset Management and Maintenance Service. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Social Worker - Family Support & Protection

Essex County Council
£26001.0 - £30000.0 per annum
Please note this role is based in Clacton and is open to Newly Qualified Social Workers (NQSWs). The starting salary for NQSWs is £27,775 per annum an England, Essex, Clacton-On-Sea
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Corporate Director of Neighbourhoods and Climate Change

Durham County Council
You will manage a range of front-line services including bins and waste, transport, environmental health, technical services, partnerships and... Durham (County)
Recuriter: Durham County Council

Corporate Director of Regeneration, Economy and Growth

Durham County Council
Seeking candidates who are adept at building relationships, able to work successfully with regional and national partners... Durham (County)
Recuriter: Durham County Council

Tenancy Enforcement Assistant

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£22.377 - £23.607
Looking for individuals who have an interest in the environment with good customer service skills, flexible approach to work and a good team player. Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

This issue of Local Government News explores how councils can tackle modern slavery and trafficking in their supply chains, finds out more about Cambridge's first cohousing scheme and the launch of a new project to build a shared service pattern library for local government.

This issue also contains a special focus on children's services and how councils are protecting children following local safeguarding children boards being abolished.

Register for your free magazine