This report from the Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee looks at recent homelessness data in Wales, four years out from the Housing Wales Act, in order to make recommendations to the Welsh Government with regard to preventing homelessness in the country and helping those already experiencing it to find a pathway off the street. The Committee recommends that the Welsh Government abolish the concept of "priority needs" for housing if it wants to reduce the number of people sleeping rough in Wales, and give all homeless households the right to housing.
Key recommendations from the Committee include:
- To introduce a phased approach to abolishing priority need. This approach involves the extension of priority need to include rough sleepers as a separate category ahead of abolition;
- If the Welsh Government is not minded to accept our recommendation to a phased approach to abolishing priority need we recommend that it:
- Amends the definition of 'vulnerable' in section 71 to reflect current case law (the Hotak judgement), and
- Amends the Act to include a power for the Welsh Ministers to further amend the definition of 'vulnerable' by order, subject to the affirmative procedure.