Inquiry into rough sleeping in Wales



In December 2017, the Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee agreed to undertake a short inquiry into rough sleeping in Wales.


Terms of reference

The terms of reference for the inquiry were to consider:


  • the effectiveness of Part 2 of the Housing (Wales) Act in preventing rough sleeping;
  • the scale of rough sleeping in Wales and the adequacy of data;
  • the causes of rough sleeping and the apparent recent increases in rough sleeping;
  • the effectiveness and availability of services including emergency accommodation; and
  • the steps to prevent and tackle rough sleeping in Wales.



Evidence gathering


The Committee received 22 written submissions and held six oral evidence sessions with stakeholders and the Minister for Housing and Regeneration. The written responses and a schedule of oral evidence can be viewed below.




The Committee published its report: Life on the streets: preventing and tackling rough sleeping in Wales in April 2018.


On publication of the report, John Griffiths MS, Chair of the Committee said:


“We heard from a range of organisations who support rough sleepers and from experts who have completed extensive research in this subject area. Perhaps more importantly, we heard from people who have first-hand experience of life on the streets but have since been supported into accommodation. They gave moving accounts of how they ended up sleeping rough.”


The Welsh Government laid its response to the report in June 2018.  The report and government response was debated in Plenary on 13 June 2018.


Follow-up work


Following the publication of the Welsh Government’s Rough Sleeping Action Plan in February 2018, the Committee held a follow-up scrutiny session with the Minister for Housing and Local Government.


At its meeting on 5 June 2019, the Committee agreed to undertake additional follow up work into rough sleeping in Wales. Consequently, the Committee held a stakeholder event and a follow up scrutiny session with the Minister for Housing and Local Government.


On Wednesday 13 November, following issues raised in previous meetings, the Committee held an evidence session looking at the services and support available to rough sleepers with co-occurring disorders.


Following this work, the Committee published a short report on mental health and substance misuse in rough sleepers (PDF, 194KB) on Thursday 19 December.


On publication of the report, John Griffiths MS, Chair of the Committee said:


“There is no question that we are facing a rough sleeping crisis and there is not currently enough money in the system to deliver the significant shift needed to tackle the problem. However, it’s also clear that there are many structural problems across Wales preventing us from eradicating rough sleeping. Homelessness cannot be prevented through housing alone, there is a role for all public services in tackling the issue.”


The Welsh Government laid their response (PDF, 492KB) to the Committee’s report “Rough sleeping follow up: Mental health and substance misuse services” on 5 February 2020.


A debate on the report and response was held in Plenary on 12 February 2020.


During the coronavirus pandemic, the Committee held an evidence session on 14 July 2020 to see how the virus impacted homelessness and rough sleeping.


Keeping in touch


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Business type: Committee Inquiry

Reason considered: Senedd Business;

Status: Complete

First published: 05/01/2018