Welsh Conservatives renew call for a Homelessness Tsar following damning report
Rough Sleeper Count shows a 17-percent increase in people living on the streets since 2018
Commenting on the Welsh Government’s Annual Rough Sleeper Count published today (February 4), which showed a rise in the number of people who are homeless, David Melding AM/AC – the Shadow Minister for Housing – said:
“The report, and the statement from the Housing Minister, make sadly predictable reading. Welsh Conservatives have made efforts to take party politics out of – as far as possible – this emotive issue.
“However, to continue to blame the UK Government for a matter that is devolved to the Welsh Government does no-one, especially homeless people, any good.”
Local authorities estimated that 405 people were sleeping rough across Wales over a fortnight between October 14 and 17 last year. This is an increase of 17 percent (58 people) compared with the exercise in October 2018
“As recently as late October last year, I said that a far-reaching reform of homelessness policy in Wales is required because of failings in the current system. This co-incided with the release of our homelessness strategy More than a Refuge.
“I, and my Welsh Conservative colleagues, know that the causes of homelessness are complex, vary from case to case, are not singular but are often multiple, and are unique.
“We still believe that the Welsh Labour Government should appoint a homelessness Tsar in Wales, someone who will scrutinise the progress of Welsh Government homelessness policies and – ideally – who will have direct lived experience of homelessness themselves.
“Our strategy is not the whole vision or solution, but it is a change of direction that would be undertaken by a Welsh Conservative Government, putting the issue of homelessness at the forefront of our administration.
“It is vital that everyone has a safe and supported home to call their own, enabling them to access the public services that we all rely on in a time of need.
“A new Homelessness Tsar would be a champion for the vulnerable and will ensure that the voices of homeless people themselves – who all too often go unheard – will ring out loud.”
Note to editors:
The report can be found here.