Housing and Local Government Minister Julie James has invited Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis, to chair a homelessness action group.
The group of experts will look at:
- what approaches are needed to end homelessness in Wales
- what immediate actions can be taken to reduce rough sleeping between now and this winter
- what actions can be taken to end rough sleeping altogether
- how to ensure that the delivery of rapid and permanent rehousing is central to work to prevent, tackle and end homelessness
- how to ensure the Welsh Government and partner organisations work closely to effectively prevent, tackle and end homelessness in Wales.
Julie James said:
We are committed to ending homelessness in Wales. I want to be clear that our strategy is first and foremost prevention. But, if homelessness cannot be prevented we must ensure that it is brief, rare and non-recurrent.
Jon Sparkes has agreed to lead a Homelessness Action Group to look at these issues. They will meet 12 times between this June and March next year reflecting the urgency of the situation and my desire to work at pace to effect a real sea change. They will report directly to me at key points during their work and will work independently to provide policy recommendations on the actions and solutions required to end homelessness.
Crisis Chief Executive, Jon Sparkes, said:
I am delighted that the Minister has asked me to chair an action group that will bring forward solutions to help end homelessness in Wales.
While there has been good progress in recent years, the Welsh Government is right to look at how to end homelessness for good across Wales, focusing both on rough sleeping and wider forms of homelessness.
The action group will answer a challenging set of questions and will draw on expertise across all parts of Wales, including people with direct experience of homelessness and those who have knowledge of what works to end it.
I am convinced that it is possible to end homelessness with the right government policies and the right practices in place to prevent and tackle homelessness. I firmly believe it can be done in Wales and I look forward to quickly getting to work alongside all members of the Action Group.
The first meeting of the Action Group takes place today, Friday 28 June.