The Welsh Government could end homelessness today

Labour government doesn’t grasp the urgency of the situation, says Bethan Jenkins

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The Welsh Government has it within its gift to end youth homelessness today Plaid Cymru Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Communities Bethan Jenkins.

Bethan Jenkins said that the Labour government doesn’t grasp the scale of the problem, and warned that its target to abolish youth homelessness in ten years was kicking the problem into the long grass. She also questioned what happened to the government’s previous ten year plan to solve homelessness, published in 2009.

She called on the Welsh Government act now to end homelessness, by ending the intentionality clause, by abolishing Pereira test on a person’s vulnerability, and by putting a duty on all local authorities to provide emergency shelter in cold weather.

Plaid Cymru Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Communities Bethan Jenkins said:

“The First Minister has pledged to end homelessness in ten years, hoping people will ignore there has already been a 10 year plan that was due to end in 2019. The fact of the matter is that there are policies that could have helped end homelessness now, such as scrapping the Pereira test, ending intentionality, and properly funding children’s services to ensure we prevent care leavers ending up homeless.

“On top of this I want to put a duty on all local authorities to provide emergency shelter for homeless people when the temperature dips below zero.

“These are practical steps that the Labour government is able to take today, but unfortunately it has rejected each of these proposals. Indeed, only last week the First Minister claimed that some people choose to sleep rough.

“I’ve also been informed by many charities working to end homelessness that they had no idea about the First Minister’s announcement on the weekend, were not consulted on it, and have had no information on what the First Minister is proposing. This just adds to the sense it was a spur of the moment announcement from the First Minister. Frankly our most vulnerable deserve better.”

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