NDM7167 Welsh Conservatives Debate - Tackling Homelessness

NDM7167 Darren Millar (Clwyd West)

To propose that the National Assembly for Wales:

1. Recognises that current policies to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping are falling short of what is required.

2. Commends the good practice that is to be found in the sector and welcomes the establishment of the Welsh Government’s Homelessness Action Group.

3. Notes that:

a) there were 25 identified deaths of homeless people in Wales in 2018, a notable increase from the 11 identified deaths in 2017;

b) 25,937 people experienced homelessness across Wales in 2017/18, according to figures by Shelter Cymru;

c) between 2012 and 2017 the number of people sleeping rough in Wales increased by 75 per cent, and the number sleeping in cars, tents and on public transport increased by 50 per cent according to research by Crisis and Heriot-Watt University;

4. Further notes the Welsh Conservatives 10 point action plan to tackle homelessness: ‘More than a Refuge’;

5.Calls on the Welsh Government to appoint a homelessness tsar, ideally someone who has lived experience of homelessness and who can scrutinise the progress towards ending homelessness in Wales.  

Welsh Conservatives – More than a Refuge

 

The following amendments have been tabled:

Amendment 1 - Rebecca Evans (Gower)

Delete all and replace with:

1. Recognises that there is always more that can be done to tackle homelessness. 

2. Commends the good practice that is to be found in the housing sector in relation to homelessness including the partnership work that supports the delivery of the Welsh Government’s Housing First approach.

3. Welcomes the establishment and the first report of the Welsh Government’s Homelessness Action Group developed in partnership with the sector, including homelessness charities.

4. Notes:

a) That one homeless death is a tragedy.

b) The impact that austerity and welfare reform has had on the numbers of people experiencing homelessness.

5. Further notes the Welsh Government’s Strategy for Preventing and Ending Homelessness and public sector pledge campaign.

Homelessness Action Group: Report October 2019

Strategy for Preventing and Ending Homelessness

 

[If Amendment 1 is agreed amendments 2 – 7 will be de-selected]

Amendment 2 - Neil McEvoy (South Wales Central)

Add as new point after point 1 and renumber accordingly:

Believes that the failure of all Welsh Governments over the past 20 years to resolve homelessness in Wales is a national disgrace.

Amendment 3 - Neil McEvoy (South Wales Central)

Delete point 2.

Amendment 4 - Neil McEvoy (South Wales Central)

Add as new point after point 2 and renumber accordingly:

Believes that duplication of service, inflated salaries amongst senior managers in the third sector, combined with cuts to local government in Wales is making an already bad homelessness situation worse.

Amendment 5 - Rhun ap Iorwerth (Ynys Môn)

Insert as new sub-point at end of point 3:

'these trends have been noted in England, which has also experienced a rise in the number of deaths of rough sleepers.'

Amendment 6 - Rhun ap Iorwerth (Ynys Môn)

Delete points 4 and 5.

In accordance with Standing Order 12.23 (iii), amendment 7 has not been selected.

Amendment 8 - Rhun ap Iorwerth (Ynys Môn)

Add as new point at end of motion:

Recognises that the UK Government’s cuts to social security have contributed towards the increase in homelessness, as was predicted to happen by the sector.

Amendment 9 - Rhun ap Iorwerth (Ynys Môn)

Add as new point at end of motion:

Regrets that priority need wasn’t phased out in favour of a general duty to secure safe accommodation during the Housing (Wales) Act 2014, and believes this was a missed opportunity.

Housing (Wales) Act 2014

Amendment 10 - Rhun ap Iorwerth (Ynys Môn)

Add as new point at end of motion:

Calls on the UK Government to adopt the recommendations of the Crisis report on ending homelessness that apply to non-devolved policy areas, and calls on the Welsh Government to implement the recommendations of the crisis report that apply to its areas of responsibility.

Crisis - Everybody In - How to end homelessness in Great Britain

Amendment 11 - Rhun ap Iorwerth (Ynys Môn)

Add as new point at end of motion:

Ensure that the Vagrancy Act 1824 is operationally disapplied in all police force areas in Wales in order to avoid criminalising homeless people for rough-sleeping and begging.

Vagrancy Act 1824

Amendment 12 - Rhun ap Iorwerth (Ynys Môn)

Add as new point at end of motion:

As well as providing housing, calls on the Welsh Government to also ensure proper service provision for people at risk of homelessness, such as people with mental health problems, learning disabilities, problematic substance users, people with ADHD and neurodevelopmental disorders, prisoners, veterans, childhood sexual abuse and domestic abuse survivors and those with adverse childhood experiences. 

Amendment 13 - Neil McEvoy (South Wales Central)

Add as new point at end of motion:

Calls on the Welsh Government to declare a homelessness emergency and put forward housing first policies to take people off the streets.

Amendment 14 - Neil McEvoy (South Wales Central)

Add as new point at end of motion:

Calls on the Welsh Government to prioritise local need in dealing with homelessness.

Amendment 15 - Neil McEvoy (South Wales Central)

Add as new point at end of motion:

Calls on the Welsh Government to instigate a root and branch review of all public money spent in the housing sector in order to tackle homelessness.

 

Business type: Debate

Reason considered: Senedd Business;

Status: Complete

First published: 03/12/2019

Decision due: 23 Oct 2019 by Plenary - Fifth Senedd

Lead member: Darren Millar MS