Councillors have made a move towards tackling homelessness in Caerphilly borough.
According to Caerphilly County Borough Council, there are 281 people currently in temporary accommodation due to homelessness.
As part of the council’s Homeless Project Plan, a review into reducing the amount of time spent in emergency accommodation will be carried out, if the council’s cabinet approves the plan.
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In a Joint Scrutiny Committee meeting held on Thursday, October 21.
Housing Solutions Manager, Kerry Denman, said: “As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the council was forced in to using bed and breakfast accommodation, but this is not sustainable.”
Ms Denman said the focus on prevention aims to target the hidden homeless, for example those who ‘sofa surf’.
As part of the plans, an officer could be appointed to reach out and engage with rough sleepers to understand “their wishes and their wants”.
Ms Denman also said there are rough sleepers in the borough that don’t want to engage with the council.
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Leader of the Independent Group, Cllr Kevin Etheridge, who represents Blackwood, said: “If they want to be outside we cannot force them, there are some individuals that I have come across that will just refuse. If you mention the council or the police they just fall to pieces.”
Ms Denman said having a pet can often be an obstacle for rough sleepers who want to access temporary accommodation.
Plaid Cymru group leader Cllr Colin Mann, who represents Llanbradach, said: “Some of these people will have only experienced loyalty from their dog, so you can understand people not wanting to be seperated from their dog.”
The Homeless Project Plan also aims to work with the council’s Caerphilly Keys, which works with private landlords to secure accommodation for homeless people.
The plan will be delivered in line with the Housing Wales Act 2015 and the Gwent Homeless Strategy 2018-2022.
The Homeless Project Plan is an interim plan and will be replaced in 2022 by both the Caerphilly council homeless strategy and the rapid rehousing transitional plan.
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