A £20m fund will be made available to prevent rough sleepers returning to Wales’ streets after the Covid-19 pandemic, Housing and Local Government Minister Julie James said.
James made the announcement today ahead of a virtual summit on homelessness with local authorities in which she asked them to draw up ‘phase two’ plans to transform services and accommodation to help those currently in emergency accommodation move to a long-term home.
So far the Welsh Government’s initial funding package of £10m has meant that over 800 people have been housed since lockdown began to protect them from the virus.
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic we’ve helped over 800 people gain secure accommodation.
We’re investing £20m to ensure those in emergency shelter during the pandemic don’t have to return to the streets or unsuitable accommodation.
— Welsh Government (@WelshGovernment) May 28, 2020
Like the UK Government, there is a commitment to halting a return to the mass rough sleeping days prior to the lockdown. And Welsh ministers have stated that they want to build on the success they have had so far to change the approach to homelessness in the long-term.
James told councils that funding, support and guidance will be on hand to help them achieve this as she said: “We will expect to see creativity, partnership and a willingness to invest in these programmes, which will bring long-term savings and benefits to our public services as well as the potential to transform the lives of the individuals involved.”