Homeless people with complex needs in Conwy and Denbighshire will be offered support to move off the streets and into housing thanks to £90,000 of Welsh Government investment.
Housing and Regeneration Minister Rebecca Evans has announced the funding for a Housing First pilot project in the area run by Conwy and Denbighshire local authorities.
Housing First involves moving people with complex needs into permanent housing and offering them one to one support to address their problems and to be able to sustain a tenancy themselves.
Rebecca Evans said:
“Tackling homelessness and rough sleeping is a Welsh Government priority, and we are investing record amounts to address it.
“Housing First services are targeted at those who are likely to have severe mental illness, poor physical health and lack social support.
“Housing First is an innovative approach which has been proven to work elsewhere. It works on the basis that people are more successful in moving forward with their lives if they are housed first and have choice and control over their lives.
“It’s particularly impressive that 78% of people supported by the Anglesey Housing First project have successfully secured and maintained accommodation.
“The cost to the public purse of not housing someone far outweighs the cost of supporting them into accommodation. 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. I look forward to the results in Conwy and Denbighshire and seeing people supported into homes.
“The First Minister asked me to Chair a new Ministerial group to support our work tackling youth homelessness, and to oversee the development of Housing First in Wales. We will carefully evaluate how Housing First is working as part of this work, including the project in Conwy and Denbighshire.
“Today I’m meeting Dr Sam Tsemberis, who created the Housing First model in New York. The model is now in operation across the US, Canada, parts of Europe and New Zealand and has successfully housed and treated many thousands of people with severe mental ill-health and addiction. I’m keen to talk to him about how Housing First can work in Wales.”