The extent of the homeless crisis in Gwent has been revealed with more than 1,100 vulnerable families and individuals living in temporary emergency accommodation.
And the five local authorities have revealed - in the response to a Freedom of Information request by Plaid Cymru – that many – including scores with children – can face a very long wait for a permanent home. One household in Newport has been in temporary accommodation since February 2019.
There were 381 households in temporary accommodation in Newport, 279 in Monmouthshire, 169 in Torfaen, 59 in Blaenau Gwent and Caerphilly 251 (July 2022).
The bill for housing people in Gwent runs well into seven figures every year with people living in privately rented homes, bed & breakfast accommodation and hostels.
Plaid Cymru Councillor Steve Skivens of Caerphilly, who is worried about the impact on the vulnerable, said: “These figures are really worrying and beg the question: are the vulnerable being supported? They reveal a large number of vulnerable families with children and individuals having to turn to local authorities for temporary accommodation, in many cases outside of their council area. People moved away are not able to draw support from friends, family or their social workers. And given the cost-of-living crisis hitting everyone, my fear is that the situation could get far worse.
“While many people are rehoused quickly some individuals face really long waits of over a year up to almost four years.
“In Caerphilly, we have seen day centres closed for years and carers left with few options than to care for their loved ones at home. Loss of social care staff and recruitment problems in sustaining key services is creating huge pressure on existing staff, families and individuals.
“In my area, a continuing lack of social housing creates a longer-term issue that requires resolving. Not vast house-building estates but local, small, developments to accommodate those in need or those requiring supported living.
“Councils need to step back and view what is happening to our vulnerable people today to avert a long-term legacy on these individuals, families, carers and the services provided.”