Issue - meetings

Housing Act Wales 2014

Meeting: 26/11/2014 - Housing OSC - Expired 07/05/15 (Item 40)

40 Housing Act Wales 2014 pdf icon PDF 36 KB

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That the progress of the pilot and the early findings and implications be noted.


The Community Support Services Manager introduced an update on progress and early findings from the Council’s pilot of the new homeless prevention duty to be introduced as part of the Housing Act Wales 2014.  The report detailed the key changes to homelessness legislation required by the Act to be implemented from April 2015.  As part of this, Councils would be required to take all reasonable steps to help individuals threatened with homelessness, irrespective of their priority need status.  To help prepare for these significant changes, a pilot had been carried out by the Housing Options Team on aspects of the legislation, with the support of a Shelter Cymru worker, and utilising funding from Welsh Government (WG).


The Community Support Services Manager summarised the results from the first six months of the pilot, as appended to the report, which would be shared with other Councils and WG.  During this period, there had been no reduction in the number of homeless applications, however an improvement had been shown in the reduced use of bed and breakfast accommodation.  Following this first update, the team was keen to develop some of the key areas and a further progress report would be brought back to the Committee at a later date.


Councillor Paul Cunningham praised the early proactive approach being taken by the team.  In response to a question, the Community Support Services Manager said that those unable to pay rent were referred to Supporting People where help was available to retain tenancies and prevent homelessness.  Further feedback would be given in future update reports.


Councillor Peter Curtis spoke of the Council’s duty on homelessness and the challenges of allocating properties to perpetrators of anti-social behaviour which impacted on neighbours.  He was advised of the Council’s stance in taking action against any tenants demonstrating persistent bad behaviour, however evidence suggested that the majority of homelessness occurred when individuals were unable to pay their rent through no fault of their own.  A breakdown of reasons for homelessness would be included in the next update report to the Committee.


Councillor David Cox welcomed the approach taken by the team and felt that a greater financial responsibility should be taken by WG to deal with homelessness in view of the legislation.


Comments were raised by Councillor Gareth Roberts on prioritising the allocation of Council properties and the importance of retaining local connection in some cases.  In response, it was explained that ex-offenders would be treated the same as other homeless presentations under the new legislation.




That the progress of the pilot and the early findings and implications be noted.