Tory inaction and Welsh Labour laws contributing to Wales homelessness, say Lib-Dems
Inaction by the Tories on the cost-of-living crisis and poor housing laws from Welsh Labour have contributed to an “alarming rise” in the number of households rough sleeping in Wales and at risk of homelessness, Welsh Liberal Democrats have said.
Figures showed a 28% increase in rough sleeping, and come after figures last month showed a 27% annual increase in those threatened with homelessness (Section 66) in the year 2021- 22.
Welsh Government figures also show that only 1,232 new homes were built between April and June, 27% less than in the same quarter of 2019.
“These figures are extremely alarming and point to serious problems with the Welsh housing sector and the wider housing market,” said Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds.
“A factor in this is almost certainly the skyrocketing inflation we are witnessing right now, with food and energy bills increasing so much it is not surprising that families are struggling to make ends meet. Research from the Bevan Foundation showed that 39% of people in Wales were having to cut back their spending on food.
“These rapid price rises have caused families to be hit by severe financial instability with poorer households shown to be bearing the brunt.
“The Conservative Party at Westminster has utterly failed to introduce the level of support needed to prevent this suffering. Instead, they actually made things considerably worse by causing mortgage rates to skyrocket at the hands of their botched mini-budget.
“But the Welsh Labour Government has not got clean hands in this crisis either.
“The decision made by Welsh Labour to delay renting reforms in Wales has likely contributed to housing insecurity. Rather than ban no-fault evictions like England and Scotland, Labour has chosen to simply increase the notice period from two to six months, with even this limited action being delayed.
“We also need to see more homes being built and while policies such as increasing taxation on second homes are welcome they are not a silver bullet or a replacement for house building. Labour must urgently come up with a plan in hand with local authorities to beat the housing crisis.
“With the cost-of-living crisis set to significantly worsen as we get further into winter, we need strong action from both the Welsh Labour Government and Conservative UK Government urgently because right now too many people are being let down.”
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