Plaid Cymru conference commits to a plan to end homelessness in Wales
Last weekend saw Plaid Cymru’s annual autumn conference in Swansea, which happens to be just a stone’s throw from our South Wales Skylight centre in Swansea. As the first party gathering since electing new leader, Adam Price AM, last year it was an opportunity for party members to take stock of what has been a very eventful year in UK politics.
Adam Price used his keynote speech to set out Plaid’s view on a range of issues and, particularly given his audience, to set himself apart from political rivals in both the Welsh Labour Government in Cardiff and Conservative Government in London. He reaffirmed the party’s commitment to seeing an independent Wales in the future and there were commitments on new infrastructure, child poverty and social care. Price also mentioned a need for dramatic increase in social house building, noting recent increases in homelessness.
For Crisis these meetings are a chance to work more closely with one of the largest parties in the Welsh Assembly and, as the countdown to the next Assembly elections starts, to make sure policies and approaches to end homelessness are in the manifestos of the major political parties. That, in turn, ensures there is broad agreement across political parties about what needs to change and makes it all the more likely that the policies that parties are keen on are actually delivered.
During Crisis’ 50th anniversary last year we put together the case for taking action to end homelessness and make sure everyone has their basic need for a safe and stable home met. Our report, Everybody In: how to end homelessness in Great Britain, showed how this could be done. It also set out what ‘ending homelessness’ actually means, which is:
- Preventing as many people as possible from losing their home by putting in place services that can help relieve the pressures on people who are at risk.
- Responding quickly to help people who have become homeless.
- And by rehousing and supporting people so that they are not threatened by homelessness again.
We were very pleased to see that Plaid Cymru conference members voted through a proposal from Plaid Assembly Members and the party’s Gower constituency party to adopt a goal of ending homelessness. The party also committed to use Crisis’ plan to end homelessness to inform their policy development; to use proven approaches like Housing First to help people affected; and to abolish the Vagrancy Act from 1824, which is still used today to arrest and prosecute people for sleeping rough.
We will continue to work with Plaid Cymru to develop the detail of these commitments. We’re also looking to work with all political parties in the Assembly to make sure there’s broad agreement that ending homelessness is not only possible but should be an urgent priority.
Our Everybody In campaign calls for political parties across England, Scotland and Wales to commit to ending homelessness. You can sign-up to learn more and get involved through our campaign page.
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