The Minister for Housing and Local Government Julie James has announced £300k of Welsh Government funding for a Housing First Trailblazer project in Newport.
Working in partnership with Newport City Council, the project will be operated by Pobl and will accommodate 25 people who have had a history of repeat homelessness during a 12-month period – and help them into long-term accommodation.
Housing First is designed to support people who need significant levels of help to move away from homelessness. People receiving support are offered a place to live and then offered tailored, long term support to help enable them to manage their tenancy independently.
Julie James Minister for Housing and Local Government said:
Housing First can help people who have been homeless for a long time to sustain a tenancy. It can support people who may have severe mental illness, problems with drug and alcohol abuse, poor physical health and who may not have a wider support network.
We know that Housing First isn’t the right approach for everyone without a home – it needs to be part of a wider strategy focus on rapid rehousing approaches including other housing-led and supported housing approaches. But it does play an important role in supporting people, particularly those who have been sleeping rough for a long time, which is why we are supporting this project in Newport as part of our expanding national approach to embedding Housing First in Wales.
The cost of supporting people while they are on the streets, in terms of health, emergency services and police budgets, far outweighs the cost of addressing their homelessness. We aim to support the most vulnerable people in Wales, and Housing First is a sound investment that can save money, as well as lives, in the long term.
Harry McKeown, Assistant-Director for Pobl Group said:
These vital funds will enable us, working with partners to make a real difference for people affected by street homelessness in Newport.
In conjunction with existing housing and support services, we believe that Housing First can play a major role making homelessness brief, rare and non-reoccurring.
Councillor Debbie Wilcox, Leader of Newport City Council, said:
The council welcomes the funding to develop the Housing First approach as part of our holistic approach to tackle and alleviate homelessness within the city. We are extremely pleased to be working with Pobl on this opportunity for the city.
Councillor Jane Mudd, Newport City Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Housing added:
Housing First will be embedded within existing services that are already well established in the city. It will create more sustainable housing and support, reducing the negative impact homelessness can have on people’s lives and opportunities.
Housing First provides the opportunity to deliver better outcomes and, ultimately, improve people’s lives.