The new Welsh Housing Minister, Carl Sargeant can expect to find the impact of welfare changes at the top of his agenda, acccording to the Chartered Institute of Housing Cymru, which represent social housing managers and other housing professionals.
A survey of its members found 87% expect an increase in the number of homeless families over the next 12 months. 88% think the Welsh Government must to do more to respond to the changes brought in by the UK Government. The Welsh Government has made a commitment to end family homelessness by 2019.
– Keith Edwards, Director, Chartered Institute of Housing Cymru
It's important that we always challenge policy on the basis of evidence and we have serious concerns about the impact of the bedroom tax. This will have a major impact on tenants and their families across Wales and our members are in the frontline of dealing with the human consequences. In some ways the 'blame game' is redundant - what we need now is for Welsh Government and partners to pull together to protect the most vulnerable people in society.
The UK Government says the 'bedroom tax' is correctly described as an end to a spare room subsidy. It says it's wrong to pay tenants to stay in homes that are to big for them when other families are waiting for suitable accommodation. It also expects the change to help reduce the benefits bill.
- The survey of housing professionals in Wales was carried out by RMG Clarity for CIH Cymru 12-14 March