Welsh councils get extra £6m to help them tackle homelessness
A £6 million funding boost to help tackle homelessness has been announced as part of the Welsh Government’s final local government settlement.
The extra funding will go directly into the revenue support grant in recognition of the particular pressures around homelessness prevention. Local authorities will be able to decide how they use the funding to tackle the issue, the Welsh Government said.
The additional funding means that local authorities will receive revenue funding of £4.1bn through the final local government settlement. This represents an increase of £10 million compared to 2016-17.
Capital funding for 2017-18 amounts to £433 million. Within this, general capital funding for 2017-18 is unchanged at £143 million. This means that councils will be able to press ahead in building new schools, improving local roads and providing vital infrastructure.
A 0.5% funding reduction floor, limiting the impact on councils that would have seen the biggest reductions in their core funding, also remains in place.
Separately, the additional £10 million for non-domestic rates relief in 2017-18 – as agreed with Plaid Cymru and announced on the weekend – will be delivered through local authorities and will be targeted at businesses on the high street.
“I’m very pleased to be able to announce this extra funding for homelessness prevention. We have been listening to our partners in both the charity and housing sectors and this extra £6 million will give local authorities both the means and flexibility to help tackle the issue effectively,” said local government secretary, Mark Drakeford.
“I said back in October that this was a good settlement for local government, particularly given the many competing pressures on the Welsh Budget.
“It’s fair to say that the provisional settlement was much better than most in local government were expecting.
“However, I want to be clear that this is a settlement from which to plan for the harder choices which will lie ahead. I want local authorities to use the next fifteen months to think carefully about the future pressures they will face and how they can prepare effectively to manage these pressures.”
Communities secretary Carl Sargeant added: “This extra funding will help local authorities to build on the very positive start they have made in implementing the legislation we introduced last year to help everyone who is homeless or at risk of becoming homelessness.
“Preventing homelessness helps to protect people’s health and well being which can in turn help to reduce the demand on services such the NHS.”