Welsh Government allocate £10m in youth homelessness support

Welsh Government to set out how £10m in extra funding will be used to prioritise prevention.

Homeless

With an extra £10m of support funding now available, organisations tackling youth homelessness in Wales get a break down of what’s going where.

Today (Nov 20), the Welsh Government sets out how this funding will be used to identify those at risk of becoming homeless sooner and to take preventative action.

The First Minister Carwyn Jones pitched projects promising a “bold, innovative” approach focused on interventions – building on work Wales wide that has prevented over 18,000 young people from becoming homeless since 2015.

Last year, Jones announced an extra £10m to support the Welsh Government’s mission to end youth homelessness in Wales by 2027. Today, he has set out how this funding will be used to identify those at risk of becoming homeless sooner and to take preventative action.

As set out today, the funding includes:

• £3.7m for the Youth Support Grant to strengthen services to prevent youth homelessness and tackle its root cause
• £4.8m for an Innovation Fund to develop new housing approaches for young people, which could include support for young people leaving care
• £250,000 for targeted communications and engagement programmes: to improve awareness, understanding and take-up of the services available
• £250,000 for tenancy support work with Shelter Cymru and its existing helpline to ensure young people have better access to information, advice and support services to help them sustain tenancies

The funding also includes £1m to double the St David’s Day Fund which already provides practical financial support to care leavers in their move towards adulthood and independence.

Since it launched last year it has provided 1,900 care leavers with financial support to build a home life, such as a deposit for a new home or driving lessons to access employment and education.

The £10m funding is in addition to £20m already allocated by Welsh Government for wider homelessness prevention for 2018 to 2020.

Minister for Housing and Regeneration, Rebecca Evans, is today due to deliver a statement on youth homelessness in the Senedd which will set out the programme of work to be funded in more detail.

“There are a number of complex, but often interrelated, factors which lead to young people becoming homeless. This is not just a housing issue; it is much wider than that,” Evans said.

“This is why earlier this year the First Minister asked me to chair a task and finish group looking at youth homelessness, which is working across government and beyond.

We recognise tackling this issue requires a unified approach from youth services, social services, education, mental health, substance misuse, youth justice and other services,” she said.

Cllr Philippa Marsden, Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Achievement, said the £10m announcement will improve the overall life chances of young people.

“Our Youth Services and the Engagement and Progression framework arrangements, which coordinate multi-agency support to the best effect, play a significant part in this – I welcome the Welsh Government’s target to eradicate youth homelessness by 2027 and this funding is definitely a good step in the right direction,” she said.

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