Welsh Government announces £10m to help people experiencing homelessness self-isolate

New funds to accommodate people rough sleeping during COVID-19

20 Mar 2020

Housing Minister Julie James AM announces £10 million Welsh Government funding for people experiencing homelessness and facing difficulty self-isolating during the Coronavirus outbreak.

The funding is available for local authorities to purchase B&B or hotel rooms, empty student accommodation and other premises to operate alongside existing provision for people sleeping rough.

Sian Aldridge, Interim Director of Operations at The Wallich, said:

“We welcome the news today about the additional money available for homeless people during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

“It is almost impossible to self-isolate if you don’t have a home; as a sector, we have been concerned about how to tackle this and have been calling collectively for support from the government to help us keep people safe. We hope this funding can be used to put provisions in place for every citizen, no matter their circumstances. 

“There is no doubt that COVID-19 is the biggest challenge we have faced as a frontline organisation tackling homelessness and rough sleeping.  The Wallich and other homelessness charities, are facing problems with staffing, shared accommodation and getting information to those who need it most.  We’d like to take this opportunity to thank our staff and volunteers who are still working tirelessly, and creatively, to provide support during a time where our client-base is particularly vulnerable.   

“As well as the money, we welcome the Minister’s assurances she will do everything she can to remove the barriers our clients face every day and ensure equity of access to the services that they so desperately need.  We hope now that out of this crisis, there can be some hope for the people we support.”

Housing Minister Julie James AM said:

“The coming weeks and months will be extremely difficult for us all, but for those who do not have the security of a place to call home and for those who work tirelessly to support them, this will be a particularly testing time.

“Many may not have access to the facilities that enable them to adhere to public health guidance on hygiene or isolation.

“The £10m in financial support I am announcing today will ensure people who are, or are at risk of, sleeping rough, and those who are in inadequate temporary accommodation, have the support and resources needed to protect themselves during the outbreak.

“We are also taking action to ensure everyone in Wales, regardless of their immigration status, can be supported to remain safe and well during this time.”