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Social housing crisis declared in Newport


Newport City Council does not have its own social housing stock but manages the social housing register for the city.

People can have different reasons for registering for social housing and this is not always because they are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Homelessness or the risk of homelessness is something the council works hard to prevent as we know the terrible impact it can have on families and individuals.

However, it is dealing with an unprecedented demand for both temporary and long-term housing. The availability of accommodation is simply not keeping pace with demand.

During the pandemic, there was an increase in the number of households presenting as homeless and this has continued because of the current financial crisis.

In 2021/2022, 2,286 people contacted the council for homelessness advice and the council has secured a 133 per cent increase in temporary accommodation compared with the pre-pandemic provision. But this is still not enough.

There are more than 9,000 people currently on the social housing waiting list with many people in high housing need.  During 2021/ 2022, 679 properties were allocated via Home Options Newport.

In 2019/20, 198 people were living in temporary accommodation at any one time and a similar figure the following year. This rose to 345 in 2020/21 and 387 in 2021/22.

An average of 90 households are placed in temporary accommodation each month while less than 20 households are moved on from temporary accommodation each month.

Those who find themselves at risk of homelessness or homeless will not be able to move straight into long-term housing and could face having to live in temporary accommodation for a significant period of time.

The council complies fully with its legal responsibilities under the housing legislation and in supporting individuals and families facing homelessness.

It works closely with social housing associations in the city and they try and bring empty properties back into use quickly to enable them to rehouse individuals and families.

The council also has a policy of requiring developers to provide affordable dwellings as part of larger new developments, but some have been reducing that contribution based on the overall financial viability of the development.

Private rented housing is diminishing due to a number of factors and when landlords decide to sell a property, this can mean their tenants are faced with homelessness.

When these factors are combined with the cost-of-living challenges, it is clear the city – like many other areas around the country – is facing a housing crisis that has not been experienced for many decades.