Delivering real change in people’s lives: Cardiff’s homelessness & housing support plan


Cardiff's key priorities for preventing homelessness and delivering housing support over the next four years have been outlined in a new draft strategy.

The Cardiff Housing Support Programme Strategy 2022 - 2026 has been developed following a comprehensive needs assessment and stakeholder engagement and builds  on the significant progress made in reducing homelessness over  recent years. The strategy sets out how the Council and its partners will support people at risk of losing their home and those who are experiencing homelessness in the city over the next 5 years.


The strategy is based on the Council's vision that homelessness should be prevented wherever possible and when that is not possible, experiences of homelessness are rare, brief and not repeated.


Key aims include a commitment  to ensuring that everyone receives the right help and support to address their homelessness including help to address any underlying issues; the intention is to take a rapid rehousing approach to homelessness and reduce the time spend in temporary accommodation while also providing good quality supported accommodation for those who need it.


Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, Cllr Lynda Thorne, said: "We've made terrific progress over the past couple of years. A lot of hard work went into reviewing service provision prior to the pandemic, learning from best practice from around the world. That work provided a good foundation to establish improved services for single people and families experiencing homelessness, which has significantly reduced rough sleeping in the city.


"The pandemic has been a catalyst to accelerate our progress and this draft strategy continues to build on the new approach we committed to last summer that has so far seen the development of a new Single Homeless Assessment Centre, the expansion of our Multi-Disciplinary team, a new model of health services delivered directly to hostels, additional and better quality supported accommodation for single people and new homelessness provision for families.


"We've made great strides but there are still many challenges ahead, including the economic impact of the pandemic on households' budgets and the high cost of housing in Cardiff. However, we have that solid base in place and excellent partnership working arrangements to support the most vulnerable in our city with services that can deliver real change in people's lives."


There is a strong focus on rapid rehousing in the strategy to reduce the number of people becoming homeless and any time spent in temporary accommodation by boosting the supply of socially rented accommodation in the city, increasing Housing First provision, increasing move- on options for single people and making greater use of the private rented sector, by offering a range of incentives and schemes for private landlords.


To ensure that rough sleeper numbers in the city remain low, the strategy commits to continued support for people to access and maintain accommodation and the further development of the Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT). Specialist pathways for refugees, prison leavers and those leaving hospital will continued to be improved.


To help tackle youth homelessness, a new supported housing scheme for young people with complex needs is planned while advice and meditation services, particularly for young people, will be enhanced to help prevent family breakdowns.


A review of refuge accommodation in the city will take place to ensure all those who experience domestic abuse can access specialist support.


Other strategic priorities include encouraging greater take-up of advice and homeless prevention services by improving promotion and accessibility of provision and developing a better understanding of how homelessness affects diverse groups such single men, those from ethnic minority communities and the LGBT community.


The Welsh Government requires each local authority to develop a Housing Support Programme Strategy which sets out the strategic direction for homelessness prevention and housing related support services for the next four years.  Cabinet will consider the Cardiff's strategy at its next meeting on Thursday January 20.