Homeless people re-housed from Porthcawl hotels
Lewis Smith, Local Democracy Reporter
Bridgend council has been forced to re-house 39 homeless residents this month, after a breakdown in contractual negotiations with two local hotels where they were staying.
The local authority arranged the accomodation over the last two years to ensure that homeless people could access safe and secure accommodation in the area during the pandemic.
While this hotel accomodation was only meant to be a temporary measure council bosses were excpecting to extend the contract for the near future.
However, they say negotiations with the two un-named hotels fell through last week, leaving them with less than five days to find alternative accommodation for the 39 individuals as a result.
The council is now in the process of advising the residents about the arrangements for accessing their new accommodation, with Councillor Rhys Goode, the cabinet member for wellbeing and future generations, prasing the efforts of all workers from the teams involved.
He said: “Despite the very short notice, there was a massive response to our call for support, and I want to thank the council’s housing team and everyone who has contributed towards this huge group effort.
“This includes our third sector partners, Pobl and The Wallich, who supported people directly while providing accommodation units within our housing projects, the private sector landlords who responded to our requests for accommodation so quickly, and the registered social landlords who understood the urgency with which the nominations for social housing had to be processed.
“I also want to thank the residents themselves for their patience and co-operation during what must have been a very anxious and worrying time.
“A number of hotels and bed-and-breakfasts worked alongside us to provide accommodation for homeless people and key workers during the coronavirus pandemic, but this was only ever intended to be a temporary measure – one which had the additional benefit of providing owners with guaranteed income and helping to prevent them from going under during the pandemic.
“Our long-term aim has always been firmly focused upon helping the homeless to find suitable housing, and the council and its partners have supported to more than 5,000 homelessness applications since the start of the pandemic.”
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While accepting that some homeless people are ill equipped to cope with living independently there are many, the vast majority, who would benefit from the acquisition and conversion of the hundreds of “empties” littered all over South Wales. Getting local contractors to renovate these rather than rushing off to do deals with their friends within the party or local lodges would earn Labour a lot of respect. Housing Associations, of which there are many, should be instructed to get on with it and do more to justify the existence of so many of them.