Written Statement: Publication of the summary of responses to the consultation on the White Paper for Ending Homelessness in Wales

Today I have published the summary of responses to the consultation on the White Paper for ending homelessness in Wales. 

The White Paper on ending homelessness in Wales was published on 10th October 2023 and closed on 16th January 2024. The Welsh Government received 140 written responses from a broad range of individuals and organisations across the housing and homelessness sector. 

The publication of the White Paper followed 14 months of development work, informed by the recommendations of an Independent Expert Review Panel and engagement with over 350 people with lived experience of homelessness and widescale input from stakeholders across Wales. 

The consultation sought views on:

  • reforming existing homelessness legislation to ensure the law helps prevent homelessness in the vast majority of cases;
  • proposed new duties on the wider Welsh public service to assist in the prevention of homelessness; 
  • targeted proposals to prevent homelessness for those disproportionately affected; and
  • proposals to improve access to suitable accommodation.

During the consultation period, officials engaged with stakeholders extensively.  This included five virtual events on specific themes including, among others, health and criminal justice sectors.  We also held events with RSLs to understand their specific concerns and in-person meetings with the 22 local authorities across Wales. 

The responses to the consultation are informing a number of proposals for changes to policy and law, as part of our Programme for Government and Co-operation Agreement which contains a commitment to reform housing law and implement the Homelessness Action Group’s recommendation to fundamentally reform homelessness services to focus on prevention and rapid rehousing.

I would like to thank all those who provided a response to the consultation, including the Children, Young People and Education Committee, and all who attended the events held during the consultation period.  We will continue to work closely with all stakeholders, including the Expert Review Panel to develop our approach to end homelessness in Wales.