Julie James MS, Minister for Climate Change
Throughout the pandemic, we have worked hard to provide accommodation for everyone who needs it – to make sure that no one was sleeping rough or facing homeless during a public health emergency.
We continue our work to tackle and prevent homelessness – to ensure that any incidences are brief, and people are quickly supported into a suitable and stable home, so their experience of homelessness is not repeated.
We have successfully helped thousands of people into temporary accommodation over the course of the last two-and-a-half years. But every month many more people continue to seek urgent housing help from local authorities. This situation has been exacerbated by the decisions by successive UK Conservative governments to firstly break the link between local housing allowance and private rents and then to freeze local housing allowance rates, causing real hardship to tenants in the private rented sector.
Our ambition is for everyone to have a safe, suitable, permanent home but our housing system is under significant pressure, that’s why, over the course of this Senedd term, we will build 20,000 more low-carbon social homes for rent, helping to ease the long-term pressure on social housing.
We need good-quality interim accommodation options to allow people to get on with their lives – places people can call their own – while we support individuals and families to find a permanent home.
I am therefore providing £65m through the Transitional Accommodation Capital Programme to support a range of initiatives by our local authorities and registered social landlords to provide this type of accommodation quickly to enable people to move on from temporary accommodation.
The programme will bring more than 1,000 additional homes into use over the next 18 months. Almost half of those homes will be long term or permanent homes with the others offering good- quality homes for use by individuals and families for a number of years.
We will provide grant funding to a range of schemes to quickly create accommodation capacity by bringing mothballed properties that would otherwise not be re-let into use, remodelling existing accommodation, converting buildings into good-quality accommodation, and using modular accommodation (modern methods of construction or MMC) as a medium-term form of housing on some sites as they are developed.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.