The Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Housing, David Melding AM, has today marked World Homeless Day in the Assembly Chamber.
Speaking in the Chamber, Mr Melding said that that although there had been improvement in Wales on homelessness, there is still a lot of work to be done. He called for the chamber to work together to end homelessness in Wales, once and for all.
See the below transcript of the Statement:
Today, I am speaking in the chamber to mark World Homeless Day.
Since its founding in 2010, World Homeless Day has been observed on every continent - except Antarctica.
The purpose of World Homeless Day is to draw attention to homeless people’s needs locally and provide opportunities for the community to get involved in responding to homelessness, while taking advantage of the stage an ‘international day’ provides.
It is for this very reason that I am marking it here today.
There has been good progress in Wales on ending homelessness, including the homelessness prevention legislation that inspired similar measures in England, commitments on youth homelessness, and work to develop the Housing First approach.
But we still need a plan in place to get everybody in to a safe, stable home.
Figures for Crisis, calculated by Heriot-Watt University’s Prof. Glen Bramley found 8,200 people across Wales are experiencing the worst forms of homelessness.
This includes the main forms of homelessness, such as people who are stuck in crowded and unsafe places, in hostels and night shelters, sleeping on people’s sofas and kitchen floors, or in cars, night buses, tents or out on the streets.
If we carry on as we currently are, the Heriot-Watt research found, the number of homeless households is expected to almost double in the next 25 years across Britain.
Ending homelessness doesn’t mean that nobody will ever lose their home again, it means that we put in place the right measures to ensure that homelessness becomes less frequent, less ‘normal’ and even less acceptable.
I hope that Members will join me in raising the awareness of this day, and in working towards ending homelessness in Wales once and for all.