Wales & West Housing: tackling homelessness alongside The Big Issue

Living in a safe home you can call your own is a fundamental human need, and a basic moral right, says Wales & West Housing.

Wales & West Housing is proud to sponsor this week’s special Homeless World Cup edition of The Big Issue – available to buy from your local vendor until July 28 – and to support The Big Issue’s mission to alleviate one of the biggest social problems facing the UK.

Living in a safe home you can call your own is a fundamental human need, and a basic moral right, as important as education or healthcare and intrinsically linked.

However, throughout the world there are millions of people whose lives are affected by homelessness. In Wales the number of people experiencing homelessness last year rose to more than 25,000; almost one fifth of those are in Cardiff.

As one of Wales’ largest social housing providers, at Wales & West Housing our mission is to make a difference to people’s lives, homes and communities. We know how important it is for a person’s health and wellbeing to have a safe and affordable home.

By providing a home and offering a range of support services, we are part of a life story for more than 22,000 people who live in our properties.

The journey starts from the foundations, with an ambitious build programme. This year we are on track to complete around 300 new homes and over the next three years we aim to build 1500 new, quality, affordable homes in the places where people want to live.

Our work with residents starts at the earliest stage, ensuring that the available homes are suitable to meet that person’s needs. Setting up a first-time home can be expensive, so our staff work with residents to help them furnish their new home, drawing on support from grants and charities.

Over the next three years we aim to build 1500 new, quality, affordable homes in the places where people want to live

We aim to make sure our residents stay in their homes for as long as they want. Our Tenancy Support Officers work with specialists and other agencies and networks to help residents in crisis, to minimise the number of evictions. 

Our subsidiary, Castell Ventures, provides care and support to residents through extra care schemes and out in the community. We run projects supporting homelessness, ex-offenders, older and younger people. We are partners in projects such as the Housing First Initiative helping rough sleepers. We also provide accommodation to organisations working with vulnerable young people, young care leavers and those experiencing domestic abuse and human trafficking.

The causes of homelessness are complex and varied. The number of people who sleep out on the streets in towns and cities across Wales is growing. There is also a worrying hidden problem – the increasing number of people and families living in temporary bed and breakfast accommodation, those who have lost their homes and those sofa surfing.

DID YOU KNOW…

Since 1991 The Big Issue has sold more than 200,000,000 copies – helping the most vulnerable in society earn more than £115 million.

No-one chooses to be homeless. Homelessness can force people into social exclusion and can be associated with physical and mental health problems. The Homeless World Cup works to help end this crisis. Sports like football are important to help combat these issues by helping those involved build relationships, discipline and learn to trust and share with their team mates.

We’re delighted that Cardiff has been chosen to host this year’s Homeless World Cup. Join us and show your support.

The 17th edition of the Homeless World Cup takes place in Cardiff’s Bute Park, from July 27 – August 3.