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More people entering temporary accommodation than leaving

07 Oct 2023 3 minute read
An example of some of the modular units installed at the former Gasworks in Grangetown. Image: Cardiff Council.

Ted Peskett, local democracy reporter

The difficulty of moving people on from temporary accommodation is one of the biggest challenges Cardiff faces in tackling its housing crisis, figures show.

Cardiff Council said that in August, 110 households moved into temporary accommodation, with 75 leaving it.

The council’s cabinet member for housing and communities, Councillor Lynda Thorne, said the current pressures on the local authority’s homeless services are unprecedented and demand for temporary accommodation is unabating.

She said: “Our temporary accommodation is full and while we are constantly exploring options to increase that provision, it’s also important that we focus on longer-term solutions to ensure that a household’s stay in temporary accommodation is as brief as possible and they can secure a more permanent housing solution.

“The severe shortage of affordable homes in the city impacts on the move-on rate from temporary accommodation.

“We have been working hard for a number of years to build more council homes for the city to tackle this high demand and our award-winning development programme is delivering good quality, highly energy-efficient homes right across the city.

“The private rented sector also plays an important role for move-on options and we are working closely with private landlords in the city to increase the availability of affordable accommodation for households we’re assisting.”

Waiting list

There were about 7,900 households on the council’s housing waiting list in August. In October 2022, this figure stood at more than 8,400 households.

Thousands of people are continuing to present as homeless. From April to June this year, Cardiff Council carried out 1,187 homeless assessments under the Housing Wales Act. From July to September, it carried out 1,183 assessments.

At the last full council meeting on September 21, Conservative ward member for Pontprennau and Old St Mellons, Councillor Peter Littlechild raised the issue of homeless families being temporarily housed in hotels.

He asked Cllr Thorne what the average waiting time is for them to be in temporary accommodation.

Cllr Thorne responded at the time: “It is a dreadful situation, isn’t it? I wish I could give you a timescale, but it is impossible.

“Other than people presenting [as homeless], the other great problem is the move on.

“Last week or last month, we had 35 more people coming into temporary accommodation than we had leaving.

“It means we don’t have the move on accommodation, and it is very difficult.

“Where we can, we try not to leave people in hotel accommodation too long.

“We are trying to make special provision, particularly at the Gasworks, for large families.”

Modular homes have been constructed at the former gasworks site on Ferry Road, Grangetown, to offer temporary accommodation in a bid to ease the problems caused by the shortage of affordable housing in the city.

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