Posted on: Friday 15 March 2019
Last week Torfaen Council introduced a new policy to help rough sleepers access temporary accommodation.
Revisions to the council’s adverse weather policy will now allow rough sleepers to enter temporary accommodation as soon as the temperature drops below freezing.
The changes have removed the current priority criteria used to assess individuals and also reduced the trigger for the adverse weather policy which was previously set as 3 consecutive days of minus temperatures.
During the most recent cold snap, 5 rough sleepers were offered B&B accommodation, of which 4 stayed for between 1 and 5 nights and 1 declined the offer of accommodation.
Cllr David Daniels, Executive Member for Communities, Housing and Anti-Poverty, said: ‘Although the number of rough sleepers in Torfaen remains very low, the numbers have increased in recent years and rough sleeping has become far more visible.
‘By relaxing criteria in the cold weather we are prepared to absorb the increased cost from using temporary accommodation over longer periods of time but we’re also starting to investigate the availability of suitable premises within Torfaen, which could act as a temporary shelter for rough sleepers.’
Rough sleepers can be reported to the council in the following ways:
Cllr Daniels added: ‘All reports of rough sleeping made to the council are immediately and fully investigated. However, some people do not always initially accept the help we're offering, and may still decline the offer of temporary accommodation for a variety of reasons. Even then, we will continue to work with rough sleepers, to help them get to a place where they are ready to accept help. We work throughout the year with our local support partners Cornerstone, so if you’re aware of someone who may be sleeping rough, please let us now so we can co-ordinate a response.’