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Plan to help Powys' homeless starting to have positive impact

Image of a person sleeping rough

14 December 2023

Image of a person sleeping rough
A plan designed to get homeless people in Powys into settled accommodation as quickly as possible is starting to have a positive impact, the county council has said.

In August, Powys County Council adopted its Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan, which sets out how the council along with other agencies including housing associations will work together over the next five years to prevent homelessness and where that is not possible, move people as quickly as possible from temporary accommodation into a settled home.

As part of the plan, the council has introduced a homeless triage service. This first point of contact service sees housing officer provide timely advise at the point of a homeless presentation to fully explore available options, agree actions to meet current un-met support needs and maintain current accommodation wherever possible.

Another element of the plan is seeing homeless households having suitable temporary accommodation converted where possible to a permanent tenancy.  122 homeless households have benefited from this approach with a further 40 in the process of their temporary accommodation being converted to a secure tenancy contract.

This has had a positive impact, which has seen homeless cases reduced by 22.2% - from 519 to 404 between July 2022 and November 2023. The number of statutory homeless cases as also reduced in the same period, from 370 to 263 - a 28.9% reduction.

Capital funding has also been secured for two 'instant access 24/7 triage centres' where people could go to seek help and have their needs assessed, two 'interim 24/7 supported accommodation schemes' to provide self-contained homes for those with complex needs who can't immediately live independently in the community and for 20 modular units for interim accommodation.

Cllr Matthew Dorrance, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for a Fairer Powys, said: "The introduction of the Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan is starting to make a difference as we work to try to reduce and resolve homelessness in the county.

"A key element of the plan is establishing the triage centres, supported accommodation schemes and modular units. Securing capital funding for these schemes is a positive step forward as it will help the council to cut costs over time by reducing the need to use bed and breakfast providers for temporary accommodation, which is very costly."