Page last updated at 16:51 GMT, Thursday, 13 November 2008

10 year scheme to help homeless

homeless man
Plan aims to cut figures for homelessness in Wales

A 10 year plan to help homeless people in Wales has been put out to consultation by the assembly government.

The plan aims to prevent people becoming homeless in the first place and offer easier access to housing advice.

Responses to the document are expected by spring of 2009.

But the Conservative opposition say it does little to tackle the problem of homelessness in Wales now.

The deputy minister for housing Jocelyn Davies AM said she wanted to see everyone have access to the help they needed.

Key elements of the strategy are:

  • Preventing homelessness before it happens
  • Providing housing advice which was easy to access
  • Minimising mortgage repossession
  • Helping rough sleepers

"This plan is about changing the way services are delivered so they can respond flexibly," said Ms Davies.

After the comments have been received during the consultation process, the assembly government will set out the action they intend to take.

But the Conservative social justice spokesman in Wales Mark Isherwood, AM said the economic downturn was putting more families at risk of losing their homes.

"The prospect of help in 10 years time will do little to help those faced with losing their homes today," he said.

A spokesperson for Shelter Cymru said they welcomed the plan but it had to be properly resourced to succeed.

There were 1,581 households accepted as homeless by local authorities during the second quarter of 2008.

The latest figures from March 2008 indicated the number of rough sleepers across Wales is in the range of 128 to 165 people.

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