Councillors take a look at Homelessness in Swansea

Councillors from the Homelessness Scrutiny Working Group have met to look at what the Council can do to help homelessness in Swansea.  They looked particularly at the Councils activities to manage homelessness, the current position, performance of relevant services and the challenges faced.

A meeting was held with a number of interested parties including: Swansea Homeless Sanctuary, Shelter Cymru, Crisis, Wallich Dinas Fechan, Caer las, Zac’s Place, Matthew’s House, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board and relevant officers from Swansea Council.

Some of the issues they discussed included, for example:

  • The increasing number of homeless people with complex/multiple needs including mental health and that many of these do not have basic life skills and need continuous support over a long period of time particularly in keeping a tenancy.  That there is a lack of specialist accommodation for those people with complex/multiple needs.
  • That there are gaps in provision for hostels that take women, under 21s and provision for EU citizens or people with no recourse to public funds
  • That there is very little emergency accommodation for homeless couples was raised. Private renting is the only other route other than living on the street.
  • That the threshold for homeless and vulnerable adults being accepted for social services involvement is too high.
  • All agencies argued that the Gateway system which is the single central referral system that operates all the supported (hostel) accommodation in Swansea needs reform.  They would like to see an allocated Gateway Officer appointed to oversee all hostel vacancies in Swansea.
  • Evictions from supported accommodation due to rent arrears and the need to support clients who are assisted to open bank accounts for the payment of service charges.

The working group agreed that scrutiny should complete pre-decision scrutiny on the homelessness strategy before it goes to cabinet for agreement.


Leave a Comment


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.