Cardiff’s housing crisis will get worse if people continue to abuse the system, says charity

A social housing charity has said Cardiff’s “housing emergency” will only get worse if it does not tackle the issue of “intentional homelessness”.

This is due to a small minority of people who are presenting themselves as homeless in order to short-cut the social housing ladder, according to TPAS Cymru.

This is exacerbating what is already the “most challenging time for housing in decades”, according to Cardiff Council.

Waiting lists to enter temporary accommodation have increased 150% since 2021.

All 1,699 units of temporary accommodation in Cardiff are full and recent data has shown that 28 more families entering temporary accommodation each month.

In October, the Welsh Government introduced a Bill which aims to “end homelessness in Wales”.

This has led to concern amongst charities that the Government will “prioritise homelessness over everything else” when it comes to deciding who gets access to social housing first.

David Rhys Wilton, CEO of TPAS CYMRU.

David Rhys Wilton, CEO of TPAS Cymru, said if the government do this, it will make homelessness a “more attractive” means of getting on the social housing ladder.  

“We are going to see more and more people trying to game the system and get to the top of the list”.

The Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, Cllr Lynda Thorne, shares Wilton’s concerns.

She said: “Cardiff does not currently consider whether a person has intentionally made themselves homeless when they present to services”.

Individuals are now deliberately giving up their existing accommodation to enter homelessness services with the intention of securing social housing.

Cllr Lynda Thorne, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities

Thorne has looked to tackle the issue by proposing a report which will ensure anyone who is found to be “intentionally homeless” will not receive any social housing.

The Community & Adult Services Scrutiny Committee has criticised the proposal saying they “do not believe that this is a compassionate approach to homelessness”.

A decision on the matter will be made at a Cabinet meeting on Thursday evening.